Locals Share Thoughts on Long-suffering
compiled by Shannon Roberts
Christian Life Magazine asked several local residents the following questions: “What does long-suffering mean to you? What makes this fruit of the spirit easy or difficult to obtain?” Here are their responses.
“For me, long-suffering means choosing to let God’s peace flow within you regardless your external environment. It’s a faith game. Long-suffering can only exist if the work of faith and embracing peace is in progress. Life is going to be hard regardless. Job 14:1 confirms it. But just like Job, despite all odds, I know that faith and the peace that follows will give me the strength to make it through the unthinkable.” –
Sara Anne Martin
“It’s really about dying to self, thinking in terms of what’s really important as it relates to glorifying God. Most people … all people … are really selfish without Christ and even with Him, we struggle to keep that selfishness down. If we understand we’re all in the same boat and can put our own ??? aside, then we can see what long-suffering is about. People aren’t coming from the same place. Being aware of where they’re coming from, how well they deal with their personal pain with the Lord determines how easy it is to do long-suffering. Every day you have to put Christ on the throne of your life. As for how someone can achieve long-suffering? Understanding that in the long-term, there is a benefit to all of it.”
“Long-suffering to me means experiencing strong feelings of shock, sadness, anger, social isolation, and bewilderment lasting for at least six months. My experience with long-suffering is much more emotional than physical. My season of long-suffering actually began in 2003 when a traumatic loss occurred in my life. I had strong feelings about this event for five to six years.
This fruit of the spirit is difficult to obtain because it takes a long time to finally begin to understand the possible reasons for going through hard times. By seeking the Lord in prayer, supporting each other, and reading His word, we can realize that we do indeed have strength while we endure long-suffering.”
“It’s a characteristic used to describe God’s nature, who He is and what He does. In the New Testament, it translates to a characteristic of believers. The natural result of a believer, someone who is trusting in God, is that they become long-suffering. The phrase ‘slow to anger’ is very picturesque. The Hebrew word for anger literally means ‘nostrils’ or nose. So this picture of anger is your nose flaring. The Hebrews would have read it as ‘long nose.’ Their nostrils aren’t fully flaring — it’s a level of tolerance. What about him is long-suffering or slow to anger? First, it has to be his approach to sin. God hates sin and he would be well within his rights to blow us out of our flip flops where we would cease to exist. But He doesn’t. He gives us a season of time to repent of our sins. So you see that reflected in 2 Peter 3:9. Peter says that ‘the Lord is not slow in fulfilling his promises as some count slowness, but is patient towards you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.’ He allows (sin) to continue with the desire that people would repent. God is this creator who is longing for his creation to come back to him.”
Danny Mann, Pastor
Hebron Baptist Church, Denham Springs
Shannon is a Denham Springs native who has been writing since before she knew how words were put together. a 2015 graduate of LSu’s Manship School of Mass Communication, Shannon has worked as both a reporter and freelance writer for a number of publications and newspapers. When she’s not writing she enjoys thinking about the future, reading, and spending time with her rescue pup, Mocha.