by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

The Puzzle of Powerful Patience (4 of 7)
Series: The Fruit of the Spirit
Jeff Strite
Galatians 5:13-26

OPEN: How many of you like to put together jigsaw puzzles. Diana and I have always doing that… although we've not done it nearly so much since we've had kids. Sometime ago, I ran across the following article:

''Everything I needed to know about life, I learned from a jigsaw puzzle.''

1. Establish the border first. Boundaries give a sense of security and order.
2. When things aren't going so well, take a break. Everything will look different when you return.
3. Working together with friends and family makes any task quicker and more fun.
4. The creator of the puzzle gave you the picture as a guidebook
5. Don't force a fit. If something is meant to be, it will come together naturally.
6. Perseverance pays off. Every puzzle goes together bit by bit, piece by piece.
7. Anything worth doing takes time and effort. A great puzzle can't be rushed.

APPLY: One of the things that seems to be repeated in those observations is: when you put a puzzle together, patience is the key. Unless you're putting together one of those children's puzzles with only 8 pieces, you'll rarely put a puzzle together overnight. In fact, it will usually take you several days to a couple of months.
BUT if you are NOT patient you may end up trying to force pieces in where they don't belong. You might find yourself being increasingly unhappy even when you make a little progress. And you may find yourself getting so frustrated you'll either walk away from the puzzle altogether, or tear it all up and put it back in the box. Patience is the key!

I. Here in Galatians, God tells us that one of the most noticeable marks of a spirit-led Christian is patience.
A mature Christian is a patient Christian
And the less patient you are… the less mature in Christ you are.

Now God isn't talking here about our level of patience when putting a jigsaw puzzle together.
Nor our patience ...

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