“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
gentleness, goodness, faith,
against such there is no law.”
We know it’s going to be a depleting, motivation-killing day, when we wake up in the morning and realize that we’re going to need a watermelon size serving of longsuffering to make it through the tasks or trials awaiting us. Unlike a soft, juicy nectarine, watermelons have a thick, tough, protective skin. Some days require that. Those are the days that make me want to hide in my shell. Unfortunately, hiding from difficulties only prolongs the suffering. Even struggles addressed head-on can feel like they will last for eternity. Thankfully, our hearts don’t have to be as tough as a watermelon rind to endure life’s hardships. We don’t have to tough it out endlessly or alone. God’s Spirit provides the fruit of longsuffering to help us make it through our trying days.
My hilarious hubby said, “Longsuffering is synonymous with marriage.” It’s not, but it can sure require a lot of it. (wink) The word, “longsuffering,” found in Galatians 5, is actually defined like this:
Greek #3115. makrothumia
from the same as 3116; longanimity, i.e. (objectively) forbearance or (subjectively) fortitude:–longsuffering, patience.
(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)
Longsuffering is synonymous with patience. That doesn’t mean we have to suffer a long time. However, we may have to endure patiently until we get to the other side of our storm or struggle. Many trials require longsuffering to endure them. When chaos, confusion, and conflicts overwhelm us, it’s imperative to maintain forbearance or fortitude and implement patience.
My spiritual, physical, mental and emotional endurance was stronger in the past than it is today. Believing that life was good, or God could and would make it better, gave me enduring hope. Sadly, years of tough life experiences have eaten away at my energy, endurance, and expectations. Lately, the smallest hindrance can shut me down or set me back. I’ve let life drain the life out of life. If it weren’t for God’s provision of longsuffering, I would have quit trying to survive a long time ago.
Thankfully, every time I get to the end of my resources, abilities, and tolerance and have nothing left to give, God picks me up, restores my broken heart, rejuvenates my soul, and gives me a gentle nudge to keep going. The fruit of His Spirit gives me renewed hope and makes me want to keep planting, pruning, nurturing, weeding and preparing for the harvest to come.
Most of us know this world is full of devastation, despair, drama and desperation which make things pretty:
God knows that too. That’s why He didn’t leave us to endure life’s struggles alone. He provides comfort with the fruit of His Spirit.
Forbearing can be a challenge, if we don’t like to wait or suffer indefinitely. It challenges us to patiently control ourselves. This longsuffering gives us the strength to relinquish control and let God work in our situations.
Fortitude is defined in this way:
“…strength of mind that enables a person
to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity
(Merriam-Webster, 2022 Online Dictionary)
That is what God’s fruit of longsuffering does for us. It gives us the forbearance, fortitude, and patience to endure our difficulties with courage so we can survive to reap a beautiful harvest.
Bring It Home
Are you in need of some longsuffering to get through today?
Praying for you as we grow together,