The words patience and longsuffering—let’s be honest, it can be pretty hard to develop this type of trait. We live in such a fast-paced world where we can access unbelievable features at the click of a button. So, in real life, we are easily losing the practice of patience.
Frustration is the default attitude. Anger boils over quickly when we don’t get our way. Yet, there’s no reason to fear, my friend, for there is hope! The Bible has some fantastic verses that address the art of patience, offering guidance on how to cultivate this virtue in our lives. It’s a natural part of the Holy Spirit, so if you’re eager to discover how to overcome impatience and embrace a more patient and long-suffering attitude, stick around for some timeless wisdom found within the Holy Scriptures. Get ready to be inspired!
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What is the Meaning of Longsuffering in the Bible?
Longsuffering in vernacular terms means ‘patience’. In the Bible, the Greek definition means forbearance or fortitude. Longsuffering can be understood as having a patient and enduring attitude, even in the face of suffering, difficulties, challenges, or even the shortcomings of others.
What is an Example of Longsuffering?
When the Holy Ghost is in the driver’s seat, patience is exuded in a form of self-control that is miraculous and mystifying. Did you ever watch a movie where the character, let’s say the hero in the cast, displays a long-suffering attitude that you rarely see in the real world? This is what I’m talking about. Something that seems amazing and not attainable at the same time.
Missionaries Who Showed Patience
Amy Carmichael was an Irish missionary who served in South India. She demonstrated remarkable patience and longsuffering as she tirelessly worked to rescue and provide care for young girls who were victims of temple prostitution. Amy faced cultural barriers, opposition from religious leaders, and endured personal hardships. Her patience and perseverance over many years made a lasting impact on the lives of countless individuals.
Hudson Taylor was a British missionary who dedicated his life to sharing the Gospel in China during the 19th century. He faced numerous challenges, including language barriers, cultural differences, and hostility from local communities. Despite these obstacles, Taylor remained patient and longsuffering, adopting Chinese customs and dress to better connect with the people he served. His commitment and endurance laid a strong foundation for the growth of Christianity in China.
David Livingstone, a Scottish missionary and explorer, spent years in Africa, sharing the message of Christ while also exploring the continent. Livingstone faced immense hardships, including illness, dangerous wildlife, and hostility from local tribes. Yet, he exhibited great patience and longsuffering, enduring harsh conditions to bring medical care and the Gospel to remote regions. His commitment to the people of Africa inspired generations of missionaries and explorers.
Jim Elliot, an American missionary, demonstrated extraordinary patience and longsuffering as he sought to reach the unreached tribes in Ecuador during the 1950s. He faced numerous challenges, including language barriers and resistance from the Waodani tribe. Despite initial setbacks, Elliot persisted in building relationships with the tribe, demonstrating patience and love. Though he tragically lost his life during his mission, his story continues to inspire others to sacrificially serve and demonstrate patience in sharing the Gospel.
Contemporary Examples of People with Patience
Corrie Ten Boom
Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch Christian and Holocaust survivor, is an extraordinary example of someone who demonstrated remarkable patience in the face of unimaginable circumstances. During World War II, Corrie and her family hid Jews in their home, helping them escape Nazi persecution. Eventually, their actions were discovered, and Corrie, along with her sister Betsie, was sent to a concentration camp.
While imprisoned in Ravensbrück, Corrie and her sister Betsy faced extreme hardship, cruelty, and deplorable living conditions. Yet, she displayed incredible patience and longsuffering that seemed unattainable, especially to her fellow prisoners.
One powerful example of her patience can be seen in her interactions with the prison guards and fellow inmates. Corrie, driven by her deep faith and belief in the transformative power of love, showed compassion and forgiveness even in the midst of suffering. She ministered to her fellow prisoners, praying with them, encouraging them, and sharing the message of God’s love and hope.
Plus, Corrie’s patience extended to her captors as well. She recognized that hatred and bitterness would only further perpetuate the cycle of suffering. Instead, she chose to forgive those who had wronged her and her family, seeking to show them the transformative power of God’s love and forgiveness.
Corrie’s remarkable patience continues to inspire people around the world. Do you struggle with a journey that feels like prison? Keep the faith like Corrie. Are you a victim of unjust circumstances? God will be your deliverer.
What Bible Characters showed Long-suffering?
One example of Biblical patience in today’s world can be seen in the story of Joseph from the book of Genesis. Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his own brothers, endured years of trials and setbacks, including being unjustly imprisoned. However, throughout his difficult journey, he maintained a miraculous faith in God and displayed patience in waiting for God’s timing and purpose to unfold.
Eventually, Joseph’s patience paid off, as he was elevated to a position of great influence and was able to save his family and the entire nation of Egypt from famine. Are you going through a long trial that doesn’t seem to ever end? Joseph understands This story reminds us that even in the midst of challenging circumstances, exercising patience and trust in God’s plan can lead to remarkable outcomes and blessings.
What does the Longsuffering of our Lord mean?
Jesus Christ exemplified extraordinary patience and longsuffering throughout his entire earthly ministry. Here are a few key examples:
- Interactions with His Disciples: Despite their misunderstandings, doubts, and even moments of betrayal, Jesus displayed remarkable patience with his disciples. He patiently taught and corrected them, answering their questions and guiding them during any misunderstanding. Jesus remained steadfast in his love and commitment to them, even when they faltered. Can you imagine loving someone and hanging out with them every day, knowing that they would ultimately betray you?
- Healing and Compassion: Jesus demonstrated a huge amount of patience in his interactions with those who sought his healing and compassion. He took the time to listen to their needs, showing empathy and understanding. Whether it was healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, or raising the dead, Jesus displayed immense patience in his ministry of restoring and comforting those in need.
- Enduring Trials and Persecution: Jesus displayed extraordinary longsuffering during his trial, crucifixion, and the events leading up to them. He willingly endured mocking, humiliation, and physical pain without retaliation. He willingly laid down his life for the salvation of humanity, showing immense patience in fulfilling his mission.
- Teaching and Parables: Jesus often used parables and stories to teach profound truths. His patience is evident in his repeated efforts to explain and illustrate important concepts to his followers. He patiently met people at their level of understanding, using relatable examples to convey deeper spiritual truths.
- Forgiveness and Redemption: Jesus’ ultimate act of patience and longsuffering was demonstrated through his sacrificial death on the cross. He willingly suffered and died for the sins of humanity, offering forgiveness and redemption to all who would believe in him. His patient endurance of suffering and his triumph over death provides the ultimate example of patience and longsuffering.
15 Bible Verses on Longsuffering
Looking for scriptures to hold onto for more patience? Check out these 15 scripture verses that show how longsuffering is rewarded and is revealed as spiritual fruit.
- 2 Corinthians 6:6 – “By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned.”
2. 1 Timothy 1:16 – “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”
3. Romans 9:22 – “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.”
4. Romans 2:4 – “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
5. Psalm 103:8 – “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.”
6. Psalm 86:15 – “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”
7. Proverbs 14:29 – “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.”
8. Numbers 14:18 – “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.”
9. Nahum 1:3 – “The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”
10. Joel 2:13 – “And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”
11. Galatians 5:22 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.”
12. Exodus 22:24 – “And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.”
13. Ephesians 4:2 – “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.”
14. Colossians 1:11 – “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.”
15. 2 Peter 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.”