Psalm 1:3 ’He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season…’
In the beginning, when God created the earth and everything in it, He also created trees and determined that each tree was to bear fruit after its kind. The nature and attribute of every tree was to find physical expression by bearing the corresponding fruit.
Genesis 1:11 ‘Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit after its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so.’
Are you a Christian, saved and washed by the blood of Jesus? Then you are a branch of Jesus Who compares Himself to a vine. And He expects you to bear fruit!
John 15:1 ‘I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that he may bear more fruit.’
In your home, marriage, community, place of work, grocery store, in traffic and every other place you happen to be, God expects you to physically manifest the character and attributes of The True Vine, Jesus.
Galatians 5:22 ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is… longsuffering.
The Greek word for longsuffering, makrothumia, means longanimity that is forbearance, fortitude, long patience. It implies patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship.
The opposite of longsuffering is hasty reactions, impulsive decisions, & complaining.
Longsuffering is ‘extreme patience’. Patience with God, patience with people, and patience with yourself. Patience with your wife, with your husband, your parents, your siblings, your children, your boss at work, your employees and clients. Yes, extreme patience! While in traffic, on a waiting line, in your office and in the park. The Lord is very patient and seeks to work His nature and character in your life. Those who do not allow the Lord to work His full nature (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) in them will be unable to get the best of Him and will be easy prey for the devil to influence or manipulate. But that is not your portion, that is for the unbelievers! May the Lord work His full nature in you.
As a true child of God that is filled with His Spirit, you are automatically eligible to bear this fruit. Your folks or colleagues at work or at school may think you are too ‘slow’ in reacting to people and some situations, but the truth is that in your desire to bear fruits of Jesus’ nature, the devil will borrow some peoples’ mouth to accuse, gossip and discourage you. But do not give in to that pressure. Keep your heart and eyes on Jesus and trust Him in the journey.
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Walking in the Spirit
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit – Galatians 5:25
Longsuffering is divine! It is of God. You are (meant to be) a partaker of God’s divine nature (See 2 Peter 1:4). What makes an unbeliever angry should not get you angry. What makes people be in a state of desperate impatience should not get you do the same. The Spirit of God working longsuffering in our hearts and lives enables us to bear with people even when they are treating you bad and speaking evil about you, and also enables us to wait for the Lord to show us His will, fulfill His promises to us, change negative circumstances in our lives or answer a prayer.
James 5:11 ‘Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord – that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.’
Joseph, great-grandson of Abraham, is a great example of longsuffering. He had great dreams given to him by God, but was envied and sold off by his brothers, his master Potipher’s wife accused him falsely and he landed in prison. In all his years of challenges and woes, he never became bitter against God or those who hate him. God eventually comes through for him and makes him a wonder to people, and even to himself! (See Genesis 37,39,40,41.)
You must learn to overlook whatever wrong people do against you, refusing to react in a spirit of anger. And learn to wait for God! He will always be on time!
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The longsuffering of Jesus
‘For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while that ark was being prepared…’ 1 Peter 3:18-20.
‘The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.’ 2 Peter 3:9.
‘For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.’ 1 Peter 2:19,21-23.
Engaging the wisdom of God to bear the fruit of longsuffering.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need – Hebrews 4:16
Ask God in prayer, to give you grace to bear this fruit and to develop it. Keep praying constantly until you are changed! He will change you as you come into His presence daily and He’ll remove the hastiness and impulsiveness that in the soul. Prayer gives room to the Holy Spirit to work unhindered in your life. One of the signs that He’s about to answer your prayer is that He will continually allow you to be tested, using people and circumstances. Depend on His grace, even as you keep growing and developing this precious fruit.
Are you ready for God to help you bear much fruit?
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Angela Lowe, MS. Ed., LPC
Angela Lowe is a licensed Professional Counselor, trained Biblical Counselor and certified Holistic Health Coach. Her kingdom mandate is to restore God’s counsel to transform lives, marriages, and churches worldwide.