Character: Long-suffering

“The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.”‬‬ ‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭3:9‬ ‭AMPC

As a father, you desire to see true character formed in your children. You enjoy watching them grow in the areas that you value. Our heavenly Father made us this way – He longs to see the new nature of Christ being boldly expressed through us as we live a life of love.

The Lord declared His character to Israel in Exodus 34:6 “..merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth ..” ‭‭ The entire Old Testament is a testament of God’s mercy and patience! And even now, in the Church age, the Holy Ghost age, God is extraordinarily patient.

‭‭“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews‬ ‭10:36‬ ‭KJV‬‬

We as well, should grow in patience.

‭‭“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians‬ ‭5:24‬ ‭KJV‬‬

  • Selfishness, divisions, ill-temper and jealousy are works of the flesh. We have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

The race we are running is not a short sprint, it is a marathon. (“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬). For a long distance race, you need consistency and endurance, not giving up when things get tough, but rather keep pushing forward. (“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.” ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

We need soldiers in the front lines who do not run away when the first sign of pressure comes!

  • Challenges in relationships, betrayal of a close friend
  • Words that hurt you by someone you respect
  • Financial trouble, symptoms in your body
  • Disappointments when something doesn’t go as expected
  • Attacks that come because of the name of Jesus

These are real things, that each one has to face with endurance and patience, being willing to pay the price and stay in the race. We run to finish!

This quality is much needed in your life personally:

  • To see God’s promises fulfilled in your life (combined with radical faith).

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭6:12‬B ‭NLT‬‬ .. “follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.”

  • To see people around you grow, not considering others in the flesh. Long-suffering in expectancy of good harvest of the Word sown. Building the church in unity.

“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭15:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • To keep on track despite of persecution and pressures (Romans‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭KJV‬‬ “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;”)

‭‭“Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. And everyone will hate you because you are my followers.” Luke‬ ‭21:16-17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • To see the end result, and not just the “now” that can cause you to stumble.

“For he was [waiting expectantly and confidently] looking forward to the city which has fixed and firm foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:10‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

‭‭“He did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah’s [deadened] womb. [Gen. 17:17; 18:11.]” Romans‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

How-to for patience:

  • Be patient! And abide in Him, and have His Words abide in you. (Joh. 15:7) Wholeheartedly!
  • Stay joyful in trials and challenges. Count it joy. (James 1:2-4)
  • Consider Jesus (Heb. 12:1-4) and resist sin with endurance.

“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, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:1-4‬ ‭KJV‬‬

With heart-faith and sincere passion, we can move forward with endurance! Keeping our hearts right with long-suffering, we look to see God’s best in the church!

‭‭“But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew‬ ‭24:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The day of the Lord is near and we patiently expect:

“Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near. Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door!” ‭‭James‬ ‭5:7-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

With joyful, hopeful expectation, we look forward to everything God has in store for us!