I remember the first time I heard the word long-suffering. I honestly did not have the best reaction to it, my facial expression said it all. The word long-suffering sounds like your life is about to end by something traumatic and extreme event. However, the bible reassures us that long-suffering is a blessing.
long-suffering: having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people.
This is probably a fruit that is often overlooked, or we believe falsely that is has been obtained and utilized. As I observe our world today I don’t know if I can point out anyone that truly exemplifies that fruit of long-suffering except God. Maybe our Pastors and leaders, but even they lose patience with members and the flow of the church.
I asked a few friends what long-suffering meant to them. Here are the responses I received:
Another friend responded:
The first set of answers may seem to come from baby saints while the other set may seem to come from more mature saints. Honestly, no matter what phase you are currently set in through your transformation process ALL OF THE ABOVE will be accurate!
When I read these answers, all I see is Jesus! His body was sick from all the beatings, the false accusations, the lies, the piercing in his side, and him drooping from the cross. It seemed a set back that Jesus was given life only to die. Indeed we know otherwise! He is now seated next to “God the Father” in heaven! His trial was indeed painful, but what did Jesus respond with? “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34.
Endurance and patience! That’s all we see displayed in the gospels. I still can’t grasp to this day how Jesus managed to walk with a cross on his back with help to Calvary! I can’t see how he lived past the beatings. The bible says he was beaten beyond recognition. The version we see in the movie Passion of the Christ is light compared to the gruesome reality of Jesus demise. He obviously had the power of God upon him. This is the true definition of long-suffering; Jesus!
We can’t focus on the trials, problems, dysfunction in our lives. We have to understand that long-suffering is a part of the process. This is why Jesus says, “Pick up your cross and follow me.” We all go through things we don’t like! Focus on the what your reward will be. In the end we will all receive a crown for the tribulations we suffered through. And in the next life, we won’t even remember the former things. God bless!
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