Would you consider yourself to be a patient person?
I used to think I had a lot of patience… and then I had kids. Honestly, motherhood has been the most humbling thing in my life.
I didn’t think I was selfish… until I had kids.
I didn’t think I was anxious… until I had kids.
I didn’t think I was short-tempered… until I had kids.
I say this not to blame my children. After all, it’s not my children who made me this way. They simply revealed what was already in my heart through the million little interactions we have with each other.
Each week, my kids and I have been praying through the Fruit of the Spirit together, and we’ve been having some good conversations around it:
We can’t be good on our own.
We can’t be loving, patient, joyful, or kind on our own. We can’t be everything our children or husbands or siblings or roommates or coworkers need us to be on our own.
Which is exactly why we need a Savior.
Because we need Jesus.
And the Good News is that Jesus freely gives Himself to us when we completely surrender ourselves to Him.
“Abide in Me,” He says: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
—John 15:4-5 ESV
What kind of fruit do we bear? The fruit of Jesus living in us. So Paul was able to say:I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.—Galatians 2:20 ESV
Did you catch that?
When our spouse does that annoying thing… when that car doesn’t use a turn signal… when the child pretends to not hear us… we don’t have to try harder to be patient.
Instead, we get to abide in Jesus. To rest in Him. Surrender to Him. Follow His gentle leading.
We get to pause, take a deep breath, and ask God’s Spirit to lead us. Then we do the next thing He shows us to do.
And when we do, Jesus’ own Spirit makes us more like Himself.
Women and men who are “the sweet aroma of Christ” to the world (see 2 Corinthians 2:15).
So if you’re not naturally a patient person, you’re in good company. I’m not either. But through Christ in us, we get to experience His patience at work in us.
If you’re journeying through the Fruit of the Spirit with the Prayers of REST podcast this summer, take 10 minutes today to listen to this week’s PATIENCE episode.
From the podcast…
We’re praying through patience – not just the holding of our temper when anger swells up, but also the old King James Version of the word: long-suffering. Enduring through trials, challenges, and the suffering that is part of, not just living in a fallen world, but is actually part of the cross-shaped life
Today’s reading is James 5:7-8
“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. […] Be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”
Let’s begin by Reciting God’s Goodness, praising Him for who He is and what He has done in our lives…
Compassionate Lord, You are so patient with Your people, not wanting anyone to perish but desiring all to come and find refuge in You. Thank You for Your infinite patience with me; I praise You for not giving up on me. You are so good!
- “In the next few moments, praise God for how He has shown His goodness in your life recently.”
We continue by Expressing Our Neediness, confessing our need for Him and His forgiveness.
Lord, I’m quick to judge, quick to become angry, quick to demand my own way. Forgive me. I cast myself on Your mercy. As I receive the benefits of Your patient love, help me also become humble and gentle, patiently bearing with others in love.
- “In the next few moments, confess to God how you have failed to [love Him and love others], and express your desire to abide in Him, so that His Spirit may bear much fruit in your life.”
Now we move into a time of Seeking His Stillness, becoming aware of God’s loving presence surrounding us and filling us this very moment.
Reflect on the past week: when has God shown His patience toward you, and when did He give you opportunities to reflect His patience toward others?
Finally, let’s Trust God’s Faithfulness. I invite you to declare your confidence in God’s faithfulness to produce fruit in your life, to preach to your own heart and soul that He is trustworthy and He will take care of what you entrust to Him.
- “In the next few moments, say it out loud: “God, I trust that You will be faithful.”
If you’d like some additional reading about peace, check out these passages:
- Psalm 40:1
- Proverbs 15:18
- Ecclesiastes 7:8
- Romans 12:12 and 15:5
- Galatians 6:9
- Ephesians 4:2
- Colossians 1:11 and 3:12–13
If you enjoyed what you read here today, you can also download a free bookmark with the REST prayer acronym to use any time you’d like. Simply go to prayersofrest.com to get your free prayer bookmark.