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4. Patience (Galatians 5:22)

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Main Point: Patience is trusting God to keep His promises in His perfect timing.

Key Verse: Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act. – Psalm 37:7a

Props: One over-the-top decorated doughnut


Say: This week we continue to study the fruits of the Spirit. By now, we should all know which verses tell us the fruit of the Spirit. Let’s say them together.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23

Last week we learned that peace comes from believing that God is in control of everything and that He only wants what is best for us. This week we will learn about a similar fruit of the Spirit, patience.


Say: Before we start, I have a question. Did anyone go without breakfast this morning? I have a fresh, tasty doughnut today that I would like to give away. Does anyone want my free doughnut? Choose a volunteer, and have them come up to the front. Okay. I promise to give you this doughnut. Do you believe me? Okay then. The only thing is, I can’t give it to you just yet. I will give it to you, just not right away. Have volunteer sit down. Occasionally mention the doughnut throughout the lesson.

Now, this is going to take some patience from our volunteer. What is patience? Patience is being willing to wait for something without being annoyed or restless. You can even think of patience as waiting for something with a good attitude. You have to be patient when you wait for your brother or sister to finish playing with a toy or video game that you want to use. You have to be patient when you wait for a teacher to give you a doughnut. Those things usually only take a few minutes, but could you ever be patient enough to wait for something for 120 years?

In Genesis 6, God told Noah that He was planning to flood the earth because the people living at that time had become so evil. The Bible tells us that everyone in the world except Noah and his family were always thinking of evil and violence, and God was sad that He had made them (Genesis 5:7). God warned Noah that the flood was coming and told him to build a giant boat called an ark that Noah and his family could stay in while God flooded the earth. God also told Noah to take along a male and female of every animal and bird so that there would be animals alive after the flood. (Genesis 5:11-20)

God told Noah that there would be a flood, but God also chose to wait 120 years to send it! That’s longer than anyone lives today! Imagine if you had to wait for something for more than a century. That is an incredible amount of time to wait. It would take incredible patience for Noah to wait that long.

Did Noah ever get tired of waiting? Did he ever say, “I’ve been waiting for years and I haven’t even seen any clouds! I’m not building this ark!”? Or did he ever say, “All my neighbors think I’m crazy for building this ark. Now I feel silly. What a waste of time. I don’t think there is going to be any flood.” No! Noah never got impatient. Noah never gave up because he believed God’s promise that there would be a flood and that God would protect him and his family. So he obeyed God and he waited the entire 120 years until God finally said it was time to get on the ark. And on top of that, Genesis 7:10 says that after they got on the ark, they waited another week before the rain started. Clearly, Noah and his family had amazing patience to wait on the Lord. Noah had patience because he knew that God ALWAYS keeps His promises, and God’s timing is perfect.

Additional for Older Kids

Numbers 21:4-6 tells us about some people who were not patient. Many generations after Noah, God had led His people out of slavery in Egypt. He saved them from Pharaoh’s army and made great promises to them. But they were impatient and they complained - a lot! They wanted everything that God promised, right away. God was very angry that they demanded things from Him. His timing is perfect; He knows when to do everything. It is a lack of trust to be impatient with God.

Look at volunteer. Hey, by the way, did I mention how fresh and ooy-gooy this doughnut is?

Patience In Jesus

As with all the fruit of the Spirit, we see a perfect example of patience in Jesus. Remember that Jesus was 100% man, but he was also 100% God (John 1:1-14). When Jesus was on earth, He waited to reveal that He was the Son of God. He did not immediately start telling everyone who He was. Jesus’ disciples and His family often wondered why Jesus waited to reveal who He was (John 7:3-5). But Jesus always had a good reason for waiting. Jesus only did what God told Him to do (verse), and God’s time for Jesus to tell who He was had not come yet. For example, Mark 1:1-40 says:

A man who had a skin disease came to Jesus. On his knees he begged Jesus. He said, “If you are willing to make me clean, you can do it.” Jesus was filled with deep concern. He reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing to do it,” He said. “Be clean!” Right away the disease left him. He was healed. Jesus sent him away at once. He gave the man a strong warning. “Don't tell this to anyone,” He said. “Go and show yourself to the priest. Offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded. It will be a witness to the priest and the people that you are clean.” But the man went out and started talking right away. He spread the news to everyone. So Jesus could no longer enter a town openly. He stayed outside in lonely places. But people still came to Him from everywhere.

In this passage, a man with a skin disease went to Jesus begging Him to heal his disease. This man had faith that Jesus could heal him, and Jesus did. Jesus did a kind and amazing thing for this man. Would it have been easy for Jesus to let this man go tell everyone what He did, and take the credit? It sure would have. In fact, Jesus deserved to be praised for this miracle. But Jesus knew that it was not time for Him to receive praise for His miracles yet. Jesus trusted His Father’s plan completely. He knew God wanted Him to wait, and He had the patience to wait for God’s timing, so He told the man not to tell anyone about the miracle. Sadly, the man disobeyed Jesus. The healed man did not have the patience not to tell everyone about the miracle, and because of this, Jesus could no longer enter towns without it being a secret. The man’s lack of patience ended up getting in the way of Jesus’ ministry.

Look at the doughnut. By the way, I wonder if they had doughnuts like this back in Bible times.

Patience In Us

Say: Our volunteer sure has been waiting a long time for that doughnut! I know it must have taken patience to wait this long. I think it’s been long enough – come get your doughnut! Have volunteer come get doughnut. Isn’t it a great feeling to finally get something you’ve been waiting for? We all love when someone keeps their promise to us. The best part of this fruit of the Spirit is that when we patiently wait on God’s promises, He always keeps them (Numbers 23:19)!

James 5:7-10 tells us to be patient. It says:

Brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord comes. See how the farmer waits for the land to produce its rich crop. See how patient he is for the fall and spring rains. You too must be patient. You must stand firm. The Lord will soon come back. Brothers and sisters, don't find fault with one another. If you do, you will be judged. And the Judge is standing at the door! Brothers and sisters, think about the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. They are an example of how to be patient when you suffer. As you know, we think that people who don't give up are blessed. You have heard that Job was patient. And you have seen what the Lord finally did for him. The Lord is full of tender mercy and loving concern.

This passage says that people who are patient are blessed, like a farmer who waits for his plants to grow and produce great vegetables. If he just gives up and quits caring for his plants, there will be no crop! But when you are patient, and faithfully do what you are supposed to do, you will always be blessed!

But what does it look like to be patient when you are in (4th and 5th) grade? It could be having a good attitude waiting for your turn on the swings at recess. Or it could be not giving up on a friend that you want to know Jesus. Or maybe you could be patient by not being angry that your dad has not found a job yet. Be patient in these kinds of things, and God will bless you!

Teacher, insert a personal story of waiting patiently – or a story of your being impatient! If you have a story from when you were a child, that would be great. When you are impatient, bad things happen. And when you are patient, you will be blessed.

There is an old saying that says, “Good things come to those who wait.” We know lots of very good promises in the Bible that are worth waiting for. Some of these are: God will supply all of your needs (Philippians 4:19), God will give you wisdom (James 1:5), God will get rid of all sadness one day (Revelation 21:4), and Jesus will come back to Earth (John 14:2-3).

If you become impatient about these promises, you are actually saying one of two things. Either you don’t believe that God always keeps His promises, or you don’t believe that God’s timing is perfect. But does God know best? Of course He does! He knows everything, and He will keep His promises at just the right time. If we believe this, if we have faith, then we will be patient like Noah and like Jesus. God has given you His Holy Spirit to remind you of His truth so that you can be patient in all things.

PPT Cue: Key Verse

Key Verse: Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act. – Psalm 37:7a

PPT Cue: Main Point

Main Point: Patience is trusting God to keep His promises in His perfect timing.

1 © 2010 All rights reserved worldwide. May be reproduced for personal, nonprofit, and non-commercial uses only. Unless otherwise noted the Scriptures taken from: Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version, (NIrV®) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society / Used by permission of IBS-STL.  All rights reserved worldwide.

Related Topics: Sanctification, Children, Children's Curriculum

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