Thursday, June 30, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Romans 5:3 - PATIENCE


The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
PATIENCE, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Galatians 5:22-23 
 
let us exult in our troubles
and rejoice in our sufferings,
knowing that hardship produces
patient and unswerving endurance.
Romans 5:3
 
You know the old joke about praying for patience, don't you?
 
I heard it from pastor who said, "I was troubled in my life that I wasn't patient enough with people and plans, so I started praying for patience ... and something bad happened.
 
"Frustrated with how I handled it -- impatiently, of course -- I prayed for more patience. And a week later something else bad happened. So I prayed for more patience ... and another bad thing happened. After a year of being battered by a series of unfortunate events, I have to confess I'm a whole lot more patient with the little things!"
 
The old joke is: "Whoa! Don't pray for patience. God may just give you something to be patient about."
 
It's a joke.
 
God's primary mode of developing our character is not to inflict us with trials. Nevertheless, God is absolutely willing to use any trial that this broken world inflicts. God's desire is to use circumstances to develop our faith, our witness, and our character. In Romans 5:3, Paul encourages us to use circumstances to better ourselves too.
 
Paul also tells us -- in Galatians 5 -- that this kind of patience is superhuman (i.e. supernatural). It is, indeed, a fruit of the Spirit. When life batters us like a sailor is battered by a hurricane, patience is not natural. But if patience can produce endurance and endurance can produce character, Paul assures us that we'll eventually work our way to hope!
 
In Christ's Love,
a guy who's not praying for patience!
... but is praying for the Spirit
and any supernatural power to endure
------------------
I have never been very patient. And I am extremely impatient with myself!
However, if we rejoice in our hardships, we will gain patience and endurance. But sometimes I wonder if it is all really worth it. Rejoicing in hardship can seem almost as impossible as giving thanks in all circumstances.

Guess that is another supernatural power we need the Spirit to to work in us.

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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