August 23, 2010 • By Ed Wrather
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience - NIV), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. - Galatians 5:22 NKJV.
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. - Colossians 1:10-12 NKJV.
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering (patience - NIV); bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. - Colossians 3:11-13 NKJV.
Walter and Rose Martin of Brooklyn, New York have had their patience tried. Actually, they have had their patience tried more than 50 times beginning in 2002. What is it that is trying their patience? The NYPD keeps showing up at their house to either raid it, or to ask questions. Hopefully, the problem is fixed now, but they have said it was fixed in the past, and they keep coming to their house. The NYPD blames it on a computer glitch which occurred when the software they are using was first installed. The randomly chosen address used to test the software was that of the Martins. Rose Martin is not so sure the problem has been solved and wants a letter from the city that she can show to the invading officers in the future.
The even stranger thing is that problems with the address go back not to 2002, but to 1997. A previous resident had police, or fire crews, show up at his house 30 times or so; because someone was calling them from a pay phone reporting fires or crimes. The previous resident couldn't take it anymore, and simply moved. His patience must have run out! Mine would have run out too!
Dictionary dot com gives this definition of patience: “the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.” Patience is one of those fruits of the Spirit that I hesitate to pray that I receive, although I do pray for it. Why? Because, to have patience, it has to be developed and tested. It appears that Walter and Rose Martin have passed the test!
Patience is one of the marks you could say that a mature Christian has. Someone with patience is “long-suffering” as the KJV puts it. They will put up with things when most would simply bail out and try to escape from the problem, or irritation, or frustration, or whatever is trying their patience.
How do we develop patience? We “put on” patience. How do we do that? What is our patience? The better question is, who is our patience? Jesus. We “put on” Jesus. Jesus says this in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” If you want patience, you must “put on,” abide in, Jesus.
So, the next time something, or someone is trying your patience just “put on” a little more of Jesus, and you will find your suffering does not seem nearly as long.