Hello Friends, how is it going? I trust you are pressing past all obstacles, and abounding in Gods grace. I pray even now that his peace will overshadow you wherever you are in Jesus name amen. As I have been patiently waiting on the Lord in study and prayer, my heart is full and glad to continue this blog series on cultivating the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22). Since April I’ve blogged on #Love, #Joy #Peace and today, I want to release this heartfelt message of #Long-suffering in several parts. This piece is much more dense with different layers of it and it will open your eyes to a whole level of understanding of what it means to “suffer long”, why God “suffers long with us”, what his long-suffering is meant to produce in us and how we reap the reward of long-suffering(patience).
- The Real Meaning: Does Long-Suffering Mean God wants you to suffer?
Plainly, the word “long-suffering” means to ‘bear (or suffer) long”. BUT hold on a minute, it doesn’t mean “to make you suffer as in purposed pain”. The original word “long-suffering” in Greek is a compound word consisting of two words: “long” and “temper”. Thus, “long suffering” actually means an “enduring temper”. The word “temper” further translates as “passion [as in indignation or wrath; the kind which could lead to slaughter or sacrifice to appease one’s anger]. In other words, “long suffering” means a temper that is patient with others, patient in situations, slow in avenging wrong or— borrowing electrical terms, having a “long-fuse” so that one’s temper doesn’t “blow too quickly”.
When your heart is filled with rage, welled up in anger or feeling tired of waiting or anticipating a change in a situation, you find yourself tempted to “blow up”, hastily speak your mind, cut someone off or perhaps become physically, emotionally or physically aggressive and abusive. But these exhibitions are not the fruit of the spirit; they are the workings of the fleshly nature, whose desires are contrary to that of the spirit (Galatians 5:17).
In helping people who presented certain situations to me, I have heard some heatedly and angrily use phrases like: “As for me, I don’t have any patience to deal with this! I cannot do anything about my anger!”. Have you experienced these situations before? Or are you experiencing them now? And are you wrestling with how to navigate your way around it or hating yourself for being short-tempered or inpatient? Don’t hate yourself! There is good news for you: God is bearing long with you…for a reason….to turn this thing you are struggling with around!
- The Real Purpose: Why God is “suffering(bearing) long with you NOW AND His expectation of you.
God himself suffers long with you. (Exodus 34:6, Psalm 86:15) .He patiently bears with you and he is very moved by your weakness BUT if you are willing to partner with him through the holy spirit, you will see yourself making progress and developing a long-suffering (enduring, patient) character with good attitude. I know this because the Lord has taken me through that process and is continually bringing me to a much better and mature place in him so I know it is very possible for every believer led by the spirit to walk in this victory. God is “suffering long” so that many come to repentance! Repentance is not just for the unbeliever; There are certain things we believers also need to repent from: habits we need to break away from, and subsequently a christ-like disposition we have to grow into. Scripture says:
“..we were disobedient when God’s Patience WAITED….” (1 Peter 3:20).
Take a moment and read this scripture. It says God’s patience waited. The word “waited” in the scripture means, “TO expect or await something”. So there is a purpose for the “waiting of God’s patience” with mankind. (see Romans 2): God’s patience is waiting on mankind TO repent and turn to him ( 2 Peter 3:9). God’s patience is waiting for you TO surrender and return to him with your whole heart and mind. God’s patience is waiting for you TO let go of every heaviness and weight that is weighing you down ( Hebrews 12:1); TO let go of unhealthy covenants and attachments that are drawing you back to old way; TO let go of revelings and destructive lifestyles that mean you no good, TO let go of self-destructive thought patterns, TO yield that hard-heartedness to the gospel of salvation, TO yield to reproof and correction in love ( 2 Tim 3:16); TO break free from people, places and possessions that have become idols in your life and rather embrace a better promise in Christ. Perhaps you are hooked to an addiction of the past; a soulish engagement that is wrecking your soul, etc. O But the power of God can break every addiction, shatter every idol and lose you from every bondage right now (Colossians 1:13, John 8:36). Return to Jesus; his arm is wide open; ALL you ever need is in him; I tell you without a shadow of doubt
Friend, while you have time this very moment, please get to know (intimately) Jesus.Do not store up wrath and indignation for yourself by callous stubbornness and impenitent heart as Romans 4:5 warns, because at the end of time, he will judge and reward all things. So even now, while his patience waits, I beckon you to respond and run to this loving father, Jesus. He is ready to receive you today if you will confess him as Lord and accept him (Romans 10:13). And to the believer, he will rekindle that fire in you, revive you again and empower you to cultivate long-suffering(patience) because there is a great reward for you!
- The Real Reward: They that WAIT ON the Lord shall RENEW their STRENGTH
What does it to “wait on” someone? Hint: I was at a Japanese restaurant today with a couple of my science research colleagues. At a restaurant, a waiter “waits on” you right? With attitude? or with poise & rapt attention? so “waiting on God” (patience) is more than just standing in line waiting for your turn……right? Well, friends, its late here…almost 3am. So..I’ll finish this later with some mind-blowing nuggets God is teaching me. Check back here by Monday night for it
Be patient 😉