"The Power To Prevail Over Your Problems"
Series on the Fruit of the Spirit, Msg. # 5

The Fruit of the Spirit is Longsuffering

Text: "The fruit of the Spirit is ... longsuffering..." Galatians 5:22

Theme: The indwelling Spirit gives us the ability to be patient not only with circumstances, but also with people.


Introduction:

There is a difference between patience and longsuffering.

Patience is a matter of circumstances cf. 1 Thes. 1:3

QUOTE "Patience 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 Thes. 1:3; it is not used of God." (Vine)

Longsuffering is a matter of people.

QUOTE "Longsuffering is that quality of self-restraint 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." (Vines)

Paul had both qualities:

"But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, LONGSUFFERING, charity, PATIENCE..." 2 Timothy 3:10

"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..." 2 Corinthians 6:4-6a

You need to have both qualities, as well, and the fruit of the Spirit includes longsuffering.


I. As a Christian you should be patient.

A. Patient when you have problems
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh PATIENCE." James 1:3

"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh PATIENCE..." Rom. 5:3

"So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your PATIENCE and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure..." 2 Thes. 1:4

ILLUS. Job - "Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the PATIENCE of Job..." James 5:11

B. Patient when success does not come as quickly as you like. (i.e. patient in good works)
"For ye have need of PATIENCE, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." Hebrews 10:36

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Gal. 6:9

"For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God." 1 Peter 2:20

QUOTE "Most preachers don't have enough patience to build a church." Curtis Hutson

Same could be said for many soul winners.

Same could be said for many Christians in their prayer lives.

Same could be said for many in their Bible study.

Same could be said for many in the matter of victory over sin.

C. Patient when you don't FEEL like being patient.
1. NEVER let feelings determine what you do for God.

Many go to hell waiting for some FEELING.

Many never serve God waiting for some FEELING.

Many give up on God, lose PATIENCE because they lack the right FEELING.

2. BE PATIENT, and the feelings will come.

D. Patient when you think you've been patient enough.
1. There are many examples of how much patience is enough patience:

"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." Hebrews 12:1

ILLUS. Noah was patient for 100 yrs. Heb. 11:7

ILLUS. Abraham never found what he was looking for! Hebrews 11:8-10,13

ILLUS. Joseph was patient in slavery, in prison, and through years of separation from his family!

ILLUS. Moses was patient for 80 years!

ILLUS. ALL THOSE in Hebrews 11 - "received not the promise!" Hebrews 11:39

2. Let God decide how much patience is enough. He knows better than you.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding..." Proverbs 3:5

II. As a Christian you should also be longsuffering.

A. Longsuffering with people who are not like you.
1. There are all kinds of people in this world.

ILLUS. White, brown, black, yellow, red

ILLUS. Tall, short, fat, thin, young, old, healthy, unhealthy etc.

ILLUS. Happy, unhappy, positive, negative, tolerant, intolerant, quiet, loud, extroverts, introverts, educated, uneducated, etc.

2. MOST of them are NOT LIKE YOU.

ILLUS. One man's key to getting along with others: ACCEPT them as they are, FORGIVE them where they fall short of your expectations, and LOVE them.

ILLUS. Some people will just be your sandpaper.

B. Longsuffering with people who are not as far along as you.
1. Some people know LESS than you.

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all LONGSUFFERING and doctrine." 2 Timothy 4:2

2. Some people know MORE than you.

C. Longsuffering with people who do you wrong.
ILLUS. David had such longsuffering - 2 Sam. 16:10-13

ILLUS. Paul had such longsuffering - "Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up from the parents, but the parents for the children. And I will gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved." 2 Corinthians 12:14-15

III. As a Christian you have the ability to be longsuffering.

A. It is a fruit of the Spirit.
 
B. It is up to you whether or not you use it.
 

Conclusion:

"The fruit of the Spirit is... longsuffering..."

May God help you to be patient no matter what your circumstances may be.

May God help you to be longsuffering with every single person you meet.


Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright 1996 William E. Johnson.