Necessary Thorns: Patience (Fruit of the Spirit Series)

Fruit of the Spirit Series image for webWhen younger, I didn’t think much about acquiring patience. It never seemed that important.

Yet this virtue is perhaps one that is most tested—and needed—during our adult lives.

Name one adult who hasn’t faced trials or times of discomfort. We all do … to some extent.

Scripture is filled with account after account of incredible patience.

  • Abraham waited for God to fulfill His promise to make him the father of many nations … imperfectly. (Remember Abraham and Sarah took matters into their own hands for awhile and decided Abraham should have a son by Hagar.)
  • Moses exhibited incredible patience as he led the grumbling, whiny Israelites first to freedom from slavery, then through the desert for 40 years to the Promised Land. (Notice again, he did so imperfectly—letting the virtue slip away on occasion.)
  • Noah spent 100 or more years constructing an ark in an arid region, all the while being ridiculed, and then another year floating around in the tub with 7 others and nearly 75,000 critters. That takes patience, my friends!
  • Then we have Gideon, Paul, Esther, King David, Ruth, …
  • And, of course, there’s the Creator Himself, who exhibits perfect patience of a supernatural nature, forgiving our insolence and arrogance innumerable times.

None of the individuals above (with the exception of God) developed an attitude of elevated forbearance without first exercising perseverance on a smaller scale, in the little annoyances of life.

Paradoxically, patience is required to successfully navigate this world of pain and struggles, yet  it takes exposure to trials to acquire such forbearance.fruit of patience

Understanding patience is important to growing it.

Patience isn’t just waiting without grumbling.  Patience is bearing pain and trials calmly without complaining.

It’s not patience if I have to wait for a doctor appointment but have nowhere to go and have a good book to read. However, if in pain, patience is required to amicably endure the wait.

Real patience isn’t just waiting for a favorite movie to start or waiting for the bus to come. It is graciously caring for another who cannot live independently. Its living with intent and purpose as our bodies begin to give out. Its trusting that something good will come of financial, physical, or emotional hardships

True patience is exercising forbearance, believing there’s a higher purpose for discomfort.

Patience is never enjoyable to acquire but always beneficial to possess.

Patience is never enjoyable to acquire but always beneficial to possess. Click To Tweet

It may be difficult to grow, but patience really is a blessing.

  • Persevering grows roots deep in a truth much larger than the sphere we know and understand. It enlarges and enhances our perceptive.
  • Enduring breaks down walls of self-sufficiency, bringing us into closer communion with the Father. 
  • Sufferance molds and refines, creating a person who more closely resembles the Savior. 

Personally, I don’t think I’m particularly good at producing this fruit. I recoil at the thought of discomfort. I beg off anything difficult, confusing, or frustrating. 

Yet when I step outside of the selfish me and glimpse the person I am meant to be, my perspective changes. 

I can begin welcoming challenges. I can more graciously accept suffering as a means to bear good fruit.

In God’s merciful hands, trials become fertile training ground for growing patience. 

In God's merciful hands, trials become fertile training ground for growing patience. Click To Tweet

Remembering that makes it much easier to be thankful for the thorns.

 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2–4).

Reflections: I tend to lack patience in the smaller daily trials. Is patience a fruit of the spirit you struggle with? How so, and how can I pray for you? (Please share in the comments below).

Thinking of patience prompted me to leave you with this amazing song by Laura Story. When I’m feeling sorry for my current circumstances I like to replay these lyrics to reclaim Divine perspective. May it bless you as well.  

Linking with Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience in 2013 for my Joy Dare list  for Multitude Mondays (#1557–1577, read them all by clicking here):

  • Driving 30 mph for 15 miles & arriving safely; New tile in kitchen & dining room; Awesome power of the wind
  • Water droplets on a mat; Finally “bleeding” out my guest post; Stove reinstalled and operating
  • Snowy shadows blowing across the lake; A husband to divide & conquer with; Lenten soup suppers
  • Losing 11 out of 12 games to my son; Being run through the water and ice by my daughter (she steered her bike); Hope
  • Dan home for spring break; Unpacking prophecy w/ my hubby; Received an invite to submit article to a Christian magazine for review.
  • Watching my son perform instrumentally & vocally; Medicine for pink eye; Saturday morning medical clinic hours
  • First day spent with entire family since January; Sunday afternoon nap; Profession of faith of two teens in our church

Also linking with the following wonderful sites:


By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

6 comments on “Necessary Thorns: Patience (Fruit of the Spirit Series)
  1. bluecottonmemory says:

    I struggle with the waiting – most unsuccessfully in situations like driving the boys to school behind a tractor going 10 miles an hour – I am learning to wait, though – on the important things – like prayers sent out. I’m getting really good at that:) I like it when you said, “Persevering grows roots deep in a truth much larger than the sphere we know and understand.” – that is so true – that faith in action does grow those roots. Wishing you blessing this Holy Week!

    • Julie Sunne says:

      “Faith in action” is a wonderful phrase to capture a proper response to crises. Waiting is very difficult for me as well. Bravo on your progress!

  2. Jen says:

    Thanks for the wonderful post! I have chronic pain and it took me a long time to see it as a blessing. Now I thank God for it because it teaches me patience and it keeps me dependent on Him for my strength.

  3. Tom Dixon says:

    As the father of a four year old, patience is something I need more of! He is such a blessing to us – and a huge mirror back on my habits. I see my impatience reflected in him.

    • Julie Sunne says:

      Oh, yes, Tom! Every father or mother of a young one never has enough patience it seems. They do mirror our flaws quite well, don’t they? Enjoy your little blessing.

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