Monday, June 23, 2008

patience

Life in Jesus consists of patience, patience with others which is part of the fruit of the Spirit and a part of the love we're to live out towards others. But also a patience with God's good working in us and our response to that.

Patience involves "suffering long" or believing that something better lies ahead in God's good will. And not losing hope when it seem like the only thing we can hold on to is a love that is patient towards God and others.

Patience can help us avoid dread and embrace what is set before us, even when we know we still haven't received what God in Jesus has promised us. It involves pressing on in faith, even when it would be easier to just accept the status quo and end up hibernating spiritually, and in life.

I can look at myself and my life and can find things which while they may not be wrong, they point out to me that I'm still very much a person in process. This kind of reminds me of green bananas. When I was a boy for some reason I loved green bananas. Maybe it was an overreaction against overly ripe bananas. As I'm older I like them far less, though maybe just a tad bit on the not fully ripe side. So I can look at my life and see some immaturities, or not fully grown up attitudes or ways of being. In prayer to God for myself and others I then must exercise this patience.

We need to be willing to plod along when it seems uphill and every step requires effort. When it seems most difficult and darkest, as I've continued in faith with patience, and hung in there or persevered, this has often been the prelude to some of God's most exalted blessings in my life. Or a sense of God's good working. Patience is needed quite often, one that is both passive in knowing our help is only from the Lord, but is active in looking to him and continuing in our faith with this patience, as we await his good work and will in our lives and through them, in Jesus.

What would you like to add on patience?

8 comments:

NaNcY said...

thanks ted,
this is a very helpful and good reminder.
i am getting ready for the flight back to oregon.
my two daughters and i are almost set to leave for the airport.
patience, peace, and Love to you from our awesome God.

preacherman said...

Ted wonderful thoughts.
I agree that one of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives as we live by the Spirit is patience. I pray that move Christians will develop this in their life so that their may be unity among us.

L.L. Barkat said...

Being a person in process is painful. Not that any of us can have any other kind of life. This is just how it is. But "process" implies so many tensions, ambiguities, gaps, as we wait and hope to be different.

Rachel Mc said...

I want to add that patience takes work...and I find I need to pray myself to patience and also through patience. I can be a very impulsive - get up and do something - kind of person and I struggle with not first jumping to ask "How I should do something" but asking "What should I do" and then patiently wait for Christ to give me the What answer first then the How answer will come afterwards.
This is something I struggle with but as I have gotten older it has been easier to do.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
Hope you are well home by now, and that you didn't have to apply patience on the flight back (delays, etc.). Though of course patience is just a way of life for us in Jesus since it is a fruit of the Spirit.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Kinney,
Yes, that reminds of the passage in Ephesians I was reading today, where it says, "Be completely humble and gentle; be PATIENT, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4) Amen! Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L.,
You couldn't be more right in what you're saying. I'm feeling it, lately.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Rachel,
Very good words of wisdom for us all. You may be ahead of some of the rest of us. We need to apply more patience with regard to this, in prayer to God, waiting for his good direction, and not thinking we know. I too can act quickly when I should be praying first, and continuing in prayer, and leaving the matter in God's hands.

Sometimes it may be better not to act in a given situation at all, but just keep praying.