Our culture runs away from spiritual sandpaper. We really want to avoid enduring any hard lessons learned, suffering of any kind, and the discipline of waiting.
But, for the Christ-follower, "longsuffering" (patience) is described as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. In other words, patience is an attribute of a follower of Christ, given freely by the Spirit of God, that transforms earthly experience into spiritual power for good. It means that we are given the spiritual gift of patience, and the capacity to use it!
We can rely on the Holy Spirit. We can expect to have His help to curb the hasty response, reign in the restlessness with another's slow pace, or accept the slower-than-expected cure of our own illness. As the biographies of missionaries clearly demonstrate, the capacity for patience grows as we pray and grow in faith that our sovereign God oversees the future. We can rely on Him.
Patiently going on for good in the face of life's challenges is the bedrock of gospel testimony! In the "going on" God manifests His grace in everyday life. The Bible records the actions of Jesus as He demonstrated these spiritual attributes in His life and work. Just think about how patient He was with the disciples. We can demonstrate these gifts to people, too.
Your stories that tell about God's work in the challenges of your life reveal the truth and daily relevance of the gospel to others.
Try building your testimony around how you used the spiritual gift of "patience." As you share your story of how God helped you with this gift, and the reality of the gospel in your life, you will encourage others to seek the Savior.
After all, the Holy Spirit and the "fruit" He provides in our transformed life helps us grow more like Jesus. He gives the power to share love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in our interactions with others—no matter what we face. Praise God for this power and capacity!
For Further Reading:
- Purchase EvanTell’s “3 Parts of An Effective Testimony,” a useful workbook for structuring your personal testimony
- Take EvanTell's free, online evangelism training