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IV. THE FRUIT OF LONG SUFFERING

(Galatians 5:22)

A. As Agape Love is an eternal characteristic of God Almighty, so is Long Suffering. 1. Long Suffering is a characteristic of God that is greatly demonstrated in both the Old Testament and New Testament. Just as He was Long Suffering with the children of Israel, He is also Long Suffering with us today.
a. (2 Peter 3:9)
b. (Luke 8:15)
c. (Ecclesiastes 7:8-b)

2. Long Suffering, or a likeness of, in the Bible is mentioned 50 times. In the New Testament Long Suffering translates out to carry two basic ideas or principles:

1) The first is "bearing up under suffering or despair," and 2) the other suggests "self-restraint in the face of unsatisfied desires."

3. Long Suffering is a very seriousness attribute and characteristic that Christians must strive for.

a. (2 John 9) Again, the seriousness of this teaching is shown. Heaven and Hell hang in the balance of this teaching.

B. (Colossians 1:11) Just because we are now children of God, does not mean that we will always be treated fairly. I believe that one of the most difficult lessons to be learned by the believer is how to react to unjust treatment at the hands of other people, especially other Christians. Mistreatment followed Christ so we shouldn't be surprised when it follows us. So the question is not whether or not we will be treated fairly or not, but how we will react to unjust treatment.

Let's look at a few passages and remember, these are written to the churches not to the world.

1. (Ephesians 4:2)
2. (Colossians 3:12-13) We can begin to see how a fruitful, fruit-filled believer, especially the fruit of Long Suffering, means leading and living a forgiven as well as forgiving life.
3. Again knowing that these are written to the church, gives us more insight to our relationships within the body. Satan would rather have a church at odds with each other, than have anything else.

C. (1 Thessalonians 5:14) There is probably no greater justification of God's allowing suffering than that it produces Long Suffering.

1. We need to understand that how we pray, and what we pray for will in large part determine our circumstances. Long Suffering will very rarely come delivered to you on a silver platter. God will answer your prayer by permitting you to experience trials and tribulation.
2. Also, I believe that nothing brings more glory to God than that of a Christian who bears the fruit of Christ while going through difficult times.
a. (Romans 5:3-4)
b. (Romans 12:12) ...rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted by prayer...
c. (2 Thessalonians 1:4-5) perseverance and faith ...persecutions and afflictions which you endure. This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.

d. (Hebrews 10:36) you have the need endurance

e. (James 1:3-4) - the testing of your faith produces Long Suffering. And let endurance have its perfect result...

f. (James 5:7-11)
g. (1 Peter 2:20) Long Sufferingly endure it

D. Other Scripture's referring to the Fruit of Long Suffering:
1. (Psalm 37:7)
2. (Psalm 40:1)
3. (Hebrews 6:15)
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