“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
Webster describes “longsuffering” as, “patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship…suffering for a long time without complaining…very patient during difficult times.” In other words “longsuffering” is nothing but being patient. When we learn to be patient we learn how to see things through God’s time perspective and not our perspective.
In this fast past technical world we live in who doesn’t expect to see results instantaneously? We want to know something we grab our tablet, our phone, or our computer and Google it. We want results now. When we pray we want God to answer our prayers right then and now. We want people to respond to us in our timing and not God’s time. Let me tell you from many years of experience that “God’s timing” is the “perfect” timing. You can’t beat it.
“with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,” Ephesians 4:2 (ESV)
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,” Colossians 3:12 (ESV)
Ephesians 4:2 and Colossians 3:12 both tell us to be patient.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (ESV)
“so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:12 (ESV)
In Galatians 6:9 and Hebrews 6:12 we are told to endure longsuffering (patience) and have faith, because in God’s timing we will reap the rewards and inherit His promises He has given to us.
As Christians we should expect difficulties and tribulations in our lives and in this world. Isn’t it great that the Bible tells us we can have peace through Jesus Christ? “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (ESV)
God teaches us about longsuffering (patience) because he knows that we will be tested, “2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:204 (ESV). The testing of our faith in God develops our fruit of longsuffering (patience). Our timing is not God’s timing. We have to learn how to slow our lives down so we can learn to be patient with God’s timing and allow the Holy Spirit to transmit to us God’s patience and longsuffering.
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