Having Patience and Longsuffering
By Yielding To The Holy Spirit
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We have all heard the phrase, "Patience is a virtue." Yet we live in a world
that is most impatient. We live in the "I want it now" generation. Everything
is fast-paced. Commercials on TV have to be quick to grab the attention of
the impatient viewers. Restaurants have to be quick to deliver the meal or
people will complain. Everything must be quick. Such are the times in which
we live and if we are not careful, we can soon get caught up in the "I want it
now" and "I am in a hurry" mentality.

For a wedding anniversary, we dined in a restaurant where the food took well
over an hour to get to our table. (On a busy night one would expect such a
wait but the place was virtually empty.) We sat at our table, patiently waiting
but after 75 minutes or so, we started becoming a bit impatient. Seeing that it
was getting rather late in the evening, and we were hungry, we kindly asked
our server if our meal would arrive soon. Our server informed us that there
was only one chef on duty and he "is from Germany and likes to take his time
to insure that the meal is perfect. Every dish is a masterpiece and must meet
his standards. It can be a bit difficult because he is such a perfectionist." We
found out that the dinner he prepared for us initially did not meet his
standards so he started over. So after waiting a rather long time, the dish was
finally served and we soon realized that it was well worth waiting for. Good
meals take time to prepare. This illustrates a great point for this Bible Study--
for whether it is the small things in life or the major trials that come our way,
we are to be patient and have longsuffering in all things and will see a good
outcome in the end. God is working a good work in us and just like that
German chef, He also is creating a masterpiece... on the inside of us...
transforming us into the image of Jesus Christ,
as we yield to God.

PATIENCE

Most people today are not good at waiting for anything but yet we know that
the best things come to those who patiently wait. We, as Christians, must be
patient. Waiting on the Lord shapes our Christian character. As we yield to
the Holy Spirit, He produces "the fruit of the Spirit" on the inside of us.

The Greek word primarily used for patience in the KJV is "hypomone", and it
means
"cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: - enduring, patience,
patient continuance (waiting)."

Webster's dictionary defines patience as "The suffering of afflictions, pain,
toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper;
endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. Patience may spring from
constitutional fortitude, from a kind of heroic pride,
or from christian
submission to the divine will.
A calm temper which bears evils without
murmuring or discontent."

When the KJV Bible speaks of patience, it means to wait with a cheerful
heart--
without complaining.

LONGSUFFERING

Now, there is another word associated with patience and that is, long-
suffering
, which has a similar meaning but has to do with the longevity
of patience in situations-- especially
where people are involved.

A good way to look at it is: Patience has to do with circumstances but
longsuffering has to do with people in our circumstances.

The Greek word for longsuffering is "makrothymia" and it means,
"Forbearance; patience; disposition to endure long under offenses."

Webster's dictionary defines longsuffering as “the capacity to endure
hardship, difficulty, or inconvenience without complaint� and
“calmness, self-control, and the willingness or ability to tolerate delay.â
€�

I will use some examples that may help distinguish the two:

Patience is how you conduct yourself in the situations, which come your way.
We must have patience in the midst of our trials.  Remaining calm and having
a cheerful disposition and with a good attitude, by the grace of God, walk
through the situation. Whether it is sitting in a traffic jam on the way to work
or sitting in a restaurant, awaiting your meal or enduring a major trial such as
a sickness or losing one's job, etc., we must have patience.

Longsuffering is slightly different than patience for long-suffering has
usually to do with your
enduring tolerance with other people, who try your
patience in different circumstances. Longsuffering also has to do with how
you handle a person who
could easily get on your nerves day in and day out.  
We should be slow to wrath. It also has to do with your disposition
concerning a person who has wronged you.

A person cannot be cheerful when they have been violated in some way,
so they will need longsuffering...enduring the pain of a broken heart and
allowing God to comfort their heart. There can be no joy when a spouse
cheats on their mate-- the victim in the marriage will need longsuffering and
as they lean upon the Lord, He will strengthen them to forebear the road
ahead, as they forgive the person who has wronged them, the joy will return
for the Lord will be the source of that joy.

Longsuffering cannot excuse the sin of another, but Christians must forgive
the person who has wronged them and give their many burdens to the Lord,
trusting Him to work all things for their good. A person who has been
wronged is called to forgiveness and longsuffering. Peter asked the Lord, how
many times he should have to forgive and the Lord replied,
"Seventy times
seven."
A person will certainly need longsuffering to forgive seventy times
seven.

The Bible tells us that God is longsuffering. He calmly waits in His abundant
mercy toward us:

Exo 34:6  
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD,
The LORD God, merciful and gracious,
longsuffering, and abundant in
goodness and truth,

2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count
slackness; but is
longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish,
but that all should come to repentance.

Longsuffering is a gift from God, Himself. It is a fruit of the Spirit:

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no
law.

As we yield to the Holy Spirit, we will find that patience will become a part
of our every day lives, even when we are hungry or tired or have had a
completely tiresome day.
Patience and longsuffering is a result of yielding
our will to the will of the Father, trusting Him that He knows what is
best for us, and will give us the strength to endure all things.

Eph 4:2  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one
another in love;

This means that we are to put up with one another. A church is comprised of
imperfect people: Some will be moody, others will interrupt us when we are
talking, while others will be contentious. The Bible addresses these matters
pertaining to social fellowship within the church body. Since none of us have
"arrived" to perfection, we must allow the Holy Spirit to work a good work
on the inside of us. This does not happen overnight because we do not yield
overnight. Just as that chef took his time in preparing that meal for us, so too,
the Lord is not hasty to just give us a "fast-food" spiritual makeover. We
grow in Christ-- this happens day-by-day and year-by-year. Fruit does not
grow overnight and so it is with our Christian walk. We grow in Christ over
time. There are many lessons to be learned and the flesh does war against
the Spirit. But the fruit of the Spirit is love and from love comes joy, and
from joy, comes peace, and from peace comes longsuffering and from
longsuffering comes gentleness...etc.

Each fruit accompanies the other. Does that mean a Christian is always kind
and patient? Unfortunately, not, but we should be...yet so MANY times the
flesh gets in the way.
But as we yield to God, who produces the fruit of
the Spirit in our lives, we will see more of Jesus and less of ourselves.
The things we loved a few years ago will not matter, if we are yielded to the
Spirit-- for it is God who is working on the inside of us. I have heard people
say, "Oh I was a better Christian when I first got saved."
No, you
THOUGHT you were
because you did not know your own heart but as you
grow in Christ, the Lord shows you other areas that need attention
that you
did not see
when you first got saved and that is where repentance and prayer
to God come into focus.


The following are areas in which we, as Christians, are called to be patient:

1Cor 13:4  
Charity [love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not;
charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

1) Bringing Forth Fruit With Patience

Luk 8:15  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good
heart, having
heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

When you plant an apple seed in the ground, it takes years for the tree to
grow-- and even more time to produce apples but eventually the fruit appears.
Christ is the Vine and we are the branches. We have heard His word, kept it
and bring forth fruit by yielding to the Holy Spirit, who produces fruit within
us.

2)
Enduring Trials and Tribulations With Patience

Rom 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that
tribulation
worketh patience;

2Cor 6:3-6 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:
But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God,
in much
patience
, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in
imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness,
by knowledge,
by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love
unfeigned

James 5:10-11 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the
name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of
patience.
Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience
of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and
of tender mercy.

Please see our article
here for more on enduring trials.

3) Patient With All People

Col 3:12-14  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved,
bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness,
longsuffering;
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a
quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all
these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

A pastor is called to longsuffering with their congregations. There are people
who may repeatedly try his patience week after week. Having patience with
the sheep pleases God and the Holy Spirit further develops the spiritual
character of the pastor. The pastor must never endorse sin in the church, nor
compromise the Bible but he can have compassion with the person who is
weak in the faith and lead that person in the right direction. This, too, takes
patience. 2Tim 2:24-25a  
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be
gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that
oppose themselves;

4) Running the Christian race with patience.

Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a
cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so
easily beset us, and
let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

James 1:4  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect
and entire, wanting nothing.

See our article,
"Running The Christian Race."

5) Patiently Waiting For The Coming Of The Lord

2Thess 3:5  And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into
the
patient waiting for Christ.

James 5:7,8 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.
Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath
long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
Be ye also
patient
; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

Rom 15:5  Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be
likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:

Every day, we should be waiting for the Lord's return but we should not sit
in idleness as we wait. The Lord Jesus gave us the Great Commission, and
where He leads us, we should go.  What He enables us to do, we should do--
by His power. Christ said,
"Without Me ye can do nothing."

The Lord may not return for 20 more years. We do not know when Jesus is
coming. The question is are we
allowing God to work in and through us
each and every day?

Matthew 9:37-38  Then saith he unto his disciples,
The harvest truly is
plenteous, but
the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the
harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.

CONCLUSION

We are His hands and feet upon this earth. How shall we then live?

Eccl 7:8  
Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the
patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Rom 12:12  Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in
prayer;

Col 1:10-12 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being
fruitful in every good work
, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power,
unto all
patience and longsuffering with joyfulness
; Giving thanks unto the
Father
, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the
saints in light:

Phil 4:6,7 Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer
and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known
unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall
keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

2Peter 1:4-8 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious
promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having
escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this,
giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And
to knowledge temperance; and to temperance
patience; and to patience
godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness
charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that
ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord
Jesus Christ.

May we look to the Lord to help us in all areas of our Christian walk. He has
called us by His grace. As we yield to God, we find that He is more than able
to meet our needs and He will continue a good work on the inside of us. Our
confidence must be in the Lord and we must be yielded to
His leading.

Php 1:6  
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a
good work in you will
perform it until the day of Jesus Christ

Eph 6:24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
Amen.

Copyright ©2007- 2008 Cobblestone Road Ministries
All Rights Reserved


Further Reading:
Running The Christian Race
The Bible Cure For Bad Attitudes
Learning To Lean On Jesus
Giving Thanks Unto The Lord - A Way of Life For Every Christian
The Bible Cure For Fear and Worry
The Pilgrim's Path - Following Jesus Christ
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