Summary: Correct me if I am wrong, but everyone wants to “Develop Joy” right? And not to many of us would pass on the opportunity to live a life of “Peace”, however it’s this fourth characteristic that many have trouble developing within their Christian characte
I pray that everyone is getting something out of this series on “Developing Character”. I hope that we are not just warming a pew, listening to good music, and leaving here unchallenged. My desire is that each one of us would take seriously the challenge set before us though the preaching of Gods word. And not only hear the message, but also go out of here determined to apply what we have learned and make the necessary changes in our lives.
With that said, I want to pause just for a moment to recap what we have been preaching on which is the “Fruit of the Spirit”. If you are a first time guest or have joined us in the last month we have been talking about the spiritual make-up of a Christian. In other words, what does the word of God have to say about the ingredients of a balanced spiritual life?
The first week we looked at Gal 5:22 and realized that when we are saved we then posses the “Fruit of the Spirit” and no matter if you were saved yesterday or fifty years ago you carry the characteristics of the fruit. And Gal. tells us that these are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, gentleness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
I really want you to notice two things about this list. First, it exemplifies the important things in life, the things that are truly significant and will bring long lasting satisfaction with eternal benefits. And secondly, it excludes the insignificant things such as; pride, power, position, wealth, and fame.
As we continue with our series “Developing Character” we shift gears into an area of “Developing Longsuffering”. Correct me if I am wrong, but everyone wants to “Develop Joy” right?
And not to many of us would pass on the opportunity to live a life of “Peace”, however it’s this fourth characteristic that many have trouble developing within their Christian character.
It’s like this poor fellow that was accompanied by his wife to the doctors office;
After his checkup, the doctor called the wife into his office alone. He said, "Your husband has been suffering a long time from a very severe stress disorder. If you don’t do the following, your husband will surely die."
"Each morning, fix him a healthy breakfast. Be pleasant at all times. For lunch make him a nutritious meal. For dinner prepare an especially nice meal for him. Don’t burden him with chores. Don’t discuss your problems with him; it will only make his stress worse and no nagging. If you can do this for the next 10 months to a year, I think your husband will regain his health completely."
On the way home, the husband asked his wife. "What did the doctor say?"
“He said you’re going to die,” This poor fellow has a lot of "Longsuffering" ahead of him.
The truth of the matter is that quite often we are faced with difficulties so trying that we feel like giving up.
a. Have you been there? Maybe you’re there right now.
b. Does it feel like the suffering will never end? And it might be;
·Pressure at work.
·Problems with the kids.
·You fill in the blank___________.
I believe that the scriptures have something to say to anyone who goes through prolonged times like these.
We don’t have to think very hard this morning where to turn to examine "Longsuffering” for it was Job’s endurance in times of peril that has entitled him the label of “patience”. I believe that everyone sometime in his or her life has heard someone use the phrase, “you have the patience of Job”. However this morning as we will see, there is quite a contrast between “patience” and “longsuffering”. And I believe that Job forbear much during this time.
Patience defined though the scriptures mean cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, whereas longsuffering carries the idea of fortitude, which means patient courage under affliction.
Patience and longsuffering can be likened to taking a long ride in a car when you were a child. You know those really long ones that would take hours to arrive. And of course your mom asks you to go the bathroom and you say I don’t have to go. Ultimately ten minutes into the ride you realize that you have made a mistake and have to go really bad. Patience in my family meant that I was going to have to wait five minutes down the road, "Longsuffering" means you are waiting until your parents feel good and ready to stop.
There are some quality traits that we see exemplified in the life of Job during this period in his life. And I believe that if we learn them we too can “Develop Longsuffering”