May 23, 2018WOFCF Bible Study Explosion
Fruit of the Spirit Series – Part 4 of 9, Patience (Gal 5:22-23)
Last week, we continued with our discussion on the why it is so essential for Christians to have and apply diligent peace in their lives, even during prevailing times. Tonight, we will continue with our Fruit of the Spirit series with Longsuffering or Patience. Keep in mind, all of our Adult Bible Study lessons are ‘group-discussion’ focused and not ‘lecture-focused.’ So if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to share your thoughts with us. So, let’s get into our ‘roller-coaster’ ministry…we’re in for a good ride!
One of the main definitions of the word longsuffering is that it is referring to patience. And patience is another sorely needed quality in the fast paced world in which we live in today. Just watch people standing in line at the grocery store or at your local fast food restaurant and watch how short some people’s fuses are today. Road rage is still a major problem on some of our highways. Look at someone the wrong way and they will want to try and take your head off.
Many people have been killed or seriously injured because someone lost his temper over something that was very trivial. With the fast-paced ways of our society, many people have had their fuses shortened up and it thus takes very little to set them off. As a result, many people have very little patience operating in their personalities today. For Christians, this poses a major dilemma.
Patience is one of the most difficult areas of the Christian life. Constantly changing circumstances test people's patience; yet patience is presented in the Scriptures as essential to proper Christian living. Patience rightly points to the character of God. Because God is patient, he bore with the world of total spiritual bankruptcy in the days of Noah (). He is presently delaying the great Day of Judgment in order to prolong the day of salvation (). God's patience, therefore, should bring men to repentance ().
One of the ways of our God is that He is a very patient and longsuffering God. And one of the things we will find out very early on about His ways is that He works on a much slower time frame than we do. And unless we learn to adjust to His slower way of working things out, we will find yourself easily losing your patience with Him and how He wants to work things out in our lives (Rom. 5:3; Rom. 15:5; Heb. 12:2)
God operates on a much longer and slower time frame than we are used to operating in the fast paced world in which we live in. We will really have to work with the Holy Spirit on this particular quality to get it properly worked up into our personalities. The reason for this is that our own impatience will start to act up and try to override the patience and longsuffering that the Holy Spirit will try to transmit to us. At times, it may become of battle of wills – our will against His will (2 Tim. 2:12).
Once the Holy Spirit starts to try and manifest this quality up into our nature, then you have to try and move with it and allow it to get worked into your mind and emotions. If you do, then His patience will start to override your impatience, and before you know it, your fuses will start to lengthen and you will not lose your patience like you used to do.
Here are the different definitions for the word longsuffering:
Forbearance, patience Patient endurance and steadfastness under provocation Forbearance under ill-will, with no thought of retaliation Patience, endurance, steadfastness and forbearance Forbearance under suffering and endurance in the face of adversity Ability to endure persecution and ill-treatment
With the way all of these definitions are reading, you can really see why we all need the patience and longsuffering of the Holy Spirit to start operating in our souls and personalities – especially when we are forced to face any kind of adversity. Sometimes it will be the patience and longsuffering of the Holy Spirit that will be the only thing that will give you the ability to last the entire length of a bad trial.
be patient, brother and sisters, until the Lord's return. Think of how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the ground and is patient for it until it receives the early and late rains. You also be patient and strengthen your hearts, for the Lord's return is near ().
Next week, we will continue with our Fruit of the Spirit lesson series.