The youth group is going through the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5, and this week we are talking about patience. I thought I’d summarize and share the core truths that our lesson is built on:
A patient person is unwaveringly centered in right-focus of what matters most. It is not that a patient person is not affected by hardship, persecution, or aggravation; but, they remain unmoved by clinging to these three eternally unmovable realities: their God-given identity, their God-given purpose, and their God-given joy.
Patience is only passive in the sense that while in active pursuit of living within these three realities (like the picture of running with patience in Hebrews 12:1–NKJV), there is no desire to waste time or energy on hindrances to those most important things. As potential hindrances arise and we respond to them by surrendering the desires of our flesh (which they provoke) to God, the Spirit of God transforms us further and bears forth richer fruits of patience in and thru us that propels us into a deeper relationship with God, and further equips us for Kingdom work and Kingdom life.
As the joy set before Jesus empowered Him to endure the cross; so too, let the joy set before us who are in Him, empower us to follow after Him with patience. Furthermore, may the hope of joy of reconciliation that to this day fuels Christ’s patience (2 Peter 3:9), take deep root in us so that our patience towards others is not a mere passive defense against being distracted from our walks with God, but is a deliberate act of love that we reach out with to the hurting and isolated, in genuine hope of reconciliation to God and to one another.