Summary: Longsuffering, patient is the character of God and is a manifestation of His presence at work in our lives. This sermon examines the longsuffering of God, our need of patience and it’s development in the life of the believer
The Fruit of The Spirit - Longsuffering
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self–control. Against such there is no law.
The past few weeks we have been studying the fruit of the Spirit. Thus far we have looked at the manifestation of this fruit described as Love, Joy and Peace.
It is interesting to note that there are nine manifestations or graces listed to describe the Fruit of the Spirit. They can be grouped into three groupings of three.
1.The first group contains those things that impact our relationship with God, The Love of God, the Joy of the Lord and the Peace of God.
2.The second group impact us in our relationship with others, longsuffering, kindness and goodness.
3.The last three impact our character and person directly, Faithfulness, gentleness and selfcontrol.
Today I want to focus our attention on the grace of “Longsuffering” that God wants to develop in our lives.
Longsuffering Defined – (Vines Expository Dictionary)
“forbearance, patience, longsuffering”
From two words meaning “long,” “temper”),
meaning “to be patient, longsuffering, to bear with,” lit., “to be long-tempered
Note: “Longsuffering is that quality of selfrestraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish; it is the opposite of anger, and is associated with mercy, and is used of God,
Ex. 34:6; And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,
Rom. 2:4; Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
1 Pet. 3:20; who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
Patience (longsuffering) is the quality that does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial; it is the opposite of despondency and is associated with hope, 1 Thess. 1:3; it is not used of God.”*
What is Patience (longsuffering)?
James Russell Lowell
"Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you, but not in the one ahead."
Sometimes we may mistake patience for something else. A man was walking through a supermarket with a screaming baby in the shopping cart. A woman nearby noticed that time and again the man would calmly say: “Keep calm, Albert. Keep calm, Albert.”
Finally, in admiration for the man’s patience as the child continued to wail, the woman walked up to him and said: “Sir, I must commend you for your patience with baby Albert.” To which the man replied, drawing himself up: “Madam, I am Albert!” (Guy McGraw - www.sermoncentral.com)
That great theologian Charles Schultz once drew a Peanuts cartoon strip in which Lucy comes up to her brother Charlie Brown and does something that is very unusual for her. She says--I love you. But Charlie Brown keeps responding by saying: no you don’t. And each time Lucy answers a little louder: yes I do, I really love you. But Charles Brown has been rejected so many times he keeps saying: it can’t be true. So in the last square, Lucy has reached the limit of her patience and she screams out in a loud voice: Hey stupid, I love you.
John Wesley the Great preacher in his sermon on patience wrote, “We do not now speak of a heathen virtue; neither of a natural indolence; but of a gracious temper, wrought in the heart of a believer, by the power of the Holy Ghost. It is a disposition to suffer whatever pleases God, in the manner and for the time that pleases him. We thereby hold the middle way, neither holigOrountes_, despising our sufferings, making little of them, passing over them lightly, as if they were owing to chance, or second causes; nor, on the other hand, _ekloumenoi_, affected too much, unnerved, dissolved, sinking under them.”2
I. The Long Suffering of God
God has shown longsuffering and patience with Man.
•As demonstrated at the time of the Flood
o1Peter 3:20 says “who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
•He demonstrated longsuffering with his people Israel
oNehemiah 9:16-20 summarizes God’s patience with them.
o6 "But they and our fathers acted proudly, Hardened their necks, And did not heed Your commandments. 17 They refused to obey, And they were not mindful of Your wonders That You did among them. But they hardened their necks, And in their rebellion They appointed a leader To return to their bondage. But You are God, Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness, And did not forsake them. 18 "Even when they made a molded calf for themselves, And said, ‘This is your god That brought you up out of Egypt,’ And worked great provocations, 19 Yet in Your manifold mercies You did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, To lead them on the road; Nor the pillar of fire by night, To show them light, And the way they should go. 20 You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, And did not withhold Your manna from their mouth, And gave them water for their thirst.