patience μακροθυμία (1-14)
I . . . urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. [Ephesians 4:1–3]
These words are found in the Apostle Paul's letter to those faithful in Ephesus and they include a key word, that key word is patience.
Our key Bible verse is:
[T]he fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. [Galatians 5:22–25 (NIV84)]
Today patience is in short supply. Who waits to have their needs meet? Who waits until they are married before becoming intimate? Who waits until they are of legal age - to drive or to drink, or to drink and drive? It is not in our DNA to be patient - no it is a gift of God and one of the fruits of the Spirit. Many of you listening are thinking, NO THANKS!
However, the writer of James gives you and me a reason to have patience. He writes: As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. James 5:10–11 (ESV)
God knows what is best for you. Paul also wrote: [W]alk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Colossians 1:10–12 (ESV)
This has been Pastor Ricky Jacob of Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and preschool, of Winnebago. I close with the words of Good News from Peter's 2nd letter: But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 2 Peter 3:13–15 (ESV)