Read: Colossians 1:9-12
The fruit of the Spirit is… longsuffering (Galatians 5:22).
The Fruit Of Patience
There is no English word that gives the full meaning of our text. It was Coverdale who first used the term longsuffering. The central thought is patience, the grace to keep good-tempered under provocation. Here is certainly a widespread human need, and just as certainly, here is an available grace from God. No life can be free from provocation but God gives grace to face the pressures in the spirit of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit enables me (1) to suffer without growing bitter. Though sanctified wholly, I can be deeply hurt; but the love of God in my life saves me from bitterness — and that is a very great salvation. I may be mistreated by another, but God’s Spirit (2) preserves me from resentment. This acid cannot corrode my spirit when I remember that God’s wisdom and love are over both me and him who has wronged me. When the Holy Spirit keeps me free from resentment He thus (3) saves me from a spirit of revenge. It is the love of God in my heart that produces this fruit of the Spirit.
George Fox, the saintly Quaker, testifies: “I knew Jesus and He was very precious to my soul, but I found something within me that would not keep patient and sweet and kind. I did all that I could to keep it down, but it was still there. I besought Jesus to do something for me and I gave Him my will. He came into my heart and took out all that would not be kind and sweet and patient and shut the door and shut himself in.”
Oh, how patient Thou hast been With my pride and inbred sin. Make my heart just like Thine own; Come, Lord, take Thy throne.
— Adelaide Pollard