Summary: A deep look at what longsuffering is and how we obtain it in our modern world.
The Fruit of the Spirit
Part 5 – Longsuffering
Rev. Bruce A. Shields
First Baptist Church Tawas City Michigan
We are continuing our Series on The Fruits of the Holy Spirit.
We’ve spoke over the past few weeks on Love, Joy and Peace, and today I would like to talk about longsuffering.
In our scripture reference today, the NIV has replaced the original Greek word Mak-roth-oo-meh’ o, which is longsuffering, with a word we are all familiar with, that helps us to better understand what longsuffering means, and that word is patient.
Patience as a fruit from the Holy Spirit is unlike mankind’s understanding of patience.
Patience or longsuffering as defined is possessing or demonstrating quiet, uncomplaining endurance under distress or annoyance, to be tolerant, tender and forbearing, capable of tranquilly awaiting results or outcomes, perseverance and diligence.
How many of us have these qualities today?
How many of us want them?
We definitely need these qualities to operate for Christ, or He wouldn’t supply them to us through the Holy Spirit.
To have these qualities today can seem tough, perhaps nearly impossible.
But in Christ, all things are possible.
And you can have this ability to endure.
Because this longsuffering is not one of our characteristics, but one of God’s characteristics that we inherit when we are brought into His family and given the Holy Spirit.
This is what is meant by becoming more like Christ.
We are to obtain and display His characteristics.
The more time we spend with Christ, the more we start to display His Character.
He begins to rub off on us, if you will.
We become a reflection of our Lord and His glory.
This is what it means to be a light in the world.
Not ourselves, but Christ’s reflection drawing others to Himself.
How does the world experience the love of God today?
Through God’s people.
If we do not take God to mankind, then they will not experience God.
This is exactly why Christ gave the disciples the Great Commission, because the world needs to experience God, and it happens through you and me.
How are we to show the love of God if we are not patient with others?
Or enduring trials as Christians?
If we are to show the love of God, then we need to display this Spiritual Fruit of patience, so that others will know the love of God.
II Peter 3:9 – Jesus Speaking
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
PRAYER FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT AND UNDERSTANDING
I. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness”
When it seems as though God delays, or is taking too long, or seems slow in the fulfillment of His promises, we need to remember what is really happening.
He isn’t slow in keeping His word.
It is for the purpose of getting more people into His Kingdom!
He is not slow, but patient.
This is an example of God’s grace to those who have not yet turned from their lost lives to the Savior.
When we feel like God is moving to slow, we need to thank Him for that grace that allowed even ourselves time to hear the Gospel of Truth, and time to turn from our ways, returning to the path of His ways.
We need to praise God for allowing us that opportunity, not just to hear the word, but for the grace of His patience to respond to that very same word.
Not one of us would be entering the Kingdom of God if the Lord was not patient with us.
“He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
You see, it is God’s will that ALL ARE SAVED and come to knowledge of Christ.
Our Father in heaven wants us all to be there with Him, not wanting even one to perish.
Of course, the Lord will never take away the promise of our free will.
Free will is in part what makes us precious to the Lord.
And it is because of this free will of ours that not all will enter the kingdom of God, even though it is God’s will they all do.
God’s will is not automatic.
Just because God wants something to be, does not mean that it will be.
It has to be our will to do God’s will.
When Jesus was telling the disciples ‘how to pray’, not what to pray, but how to pray, he said;
“Our Father in heaven, holy is your name. YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.”