"Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains-" - James 5:7 (NIV).
Patience has been characterised as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (Gal 5:22-23).
The noted Christian author, Charles Spurgeon, has given us a beautiful illustration of patience. "A butterfly will eventually emerge from its chrysalis, but not before a butterfly egg hatches into a caterpillar and the caterpillar forms itself into the chrysalis" he writes of nature. "A salmon will eventually lay its eggs in a stream, but not before it has attained maturity in the ocean and has swum up the stream. A farmer will eventually reap a harvest, but not before he plows the land, plants, and fertilizes the crop."
Spurgeon goes on to point that just as it is written "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens" (Ecclesiastes 3:1), being patient is the order of nature and God.
Well, if one wanted to get an idea of how patience can be a scarce commodity venture on a road here in Uganda and momentarily experience a jam. While you normally expect drivers to stay in their line, it is never that easy. Suddenly three or four lanes normally emerge caused by impatient drivers
If you are the type who is always hurried and eager to have your way, just remember this. Life requires a dose of patience, like a farmer who sows, cultivates and waits for a rich harvest, while enjoying every moment for each has a purpose and meaning. By practicing patience you are revealing God's work in you, as you demonstrate the fruit of the Holy Spirit!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray for the fruit of patience especially in my personal relationships, this I pray in Jesus name.
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!