Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org
Friday, April 27, 2012
The Spiritual Fruit of Patience
Read | Romans 5:1-4
The list called “fruit of the Spirit” includes “patience” (Gal. 5:22-23), but that doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit wills it into the believer’s life. Instead, He acts as our ever-dependable teacher and the one who enables our growth. Spiritual fruit matures over time as we obey the Lord and surrender to His will.
Patience with both God and our fellow man is an outgrowth of deepening faith. The Holy Spirit urges believers to take note of the Lord’s handiwork on the journey through life. Our confidence in Him is nurtured by answered prayer, the rich blessings that arise unexpectedly from difficult circumstances, and every trace of good that God salvages from a bad situation. As our trust in His goodness and sovereignty grows, we find ourselves more willing to wait for God’s solutions and outcomes.
In fact, I believe that recognizing God’s sovereignty is key to developing patience. A significant part of surrendering to His absolute control is waiting upon Him to do what He will. We are wise to realize that our lives unfold according to His master plan–exasperated toe tapping doesn’t bother Him a bit. God expects His children to step into His timeline and practice patience no matter what pace He sets.
Patience doesn’t come naturally. That’s why we have the Holy Spirit. He strengthens our resolve to endure without complaint when progress seems sluggish. After all, God is slow only from a human standpoint. From a divine, eternal perspective, He’s always working at the perfect speed.
Results of Justification
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.