“Patience” (makroyumia makrothumia) inwardly is the state of endurance, constancy, steadfastness, and perseverance. Outwardly, it is forbearance, longsuffering, and slowness in avenging wrongs. This trait of the fruit of the Spirit is missing in many Christians. Because of the weakness of the flesh, they are short-tempered and too frequently driven to despair. They are easily irritated by people and events. If God were a man, He would have taken His hand and wiped out this world long ago, but God is patient.

The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting [boulomai boulomai, willing deliberately or ordaining] any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and full of faithful love (Psalms 103:8).

Now may the God of endurance [patience] and encouragement grant you agreement with one another, according to Christ Jesus (Romans 15:5).

Patience implies nonretaliation, a forgiving spirit, and willingness to pass over, or even forget, wrongs inflicted by inconsiderate or vicious persons. The patience God has with us, we are to have with others. Patience is granted by God; it comes through prayer. The Christian whose temper is under control protects the unity and fellowship of the believers. No one can have success as a Christian without longsuffering-patience. It is the fruit of the Spirit and patience-endurance-longsuffering matures as spiritual fruit through afflictions, trials and prayer.

And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope (Romans 5:4).

Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance (James 1:2-3).

Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer (Romans 12:12).

Patience is not being phlegmatic or lethargic. It is not indolence or indifference. It is not a fatalistic attitude. It is like a small donkey bearing enormous burdens of firewood, sacks of grain, or other produce for its owner in quiet compliance with its master’s wishes. “For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to will and to act for His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).

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