Four years ago (or so?) I led a study for women I called Women, Marriage, and the Fruit of the Spirit. We spent a week on each fruit and looked for applications in marriage. (That gave us plenty of material to work with!) I am going through this study again with a new group of ladies, and after receiving a request for the notes, I realized that I posted each study up here on Femina back in 2007. You can find them all here, or if you would prefer, you can go over to the category bar yourself and click on Fruit of the Spirit. Just bear in mind that you’ll have to go to the oldest posts to start at the beginning….and for some reason (and this is a real puzzle!) one of them has a name I do not know listed as the author of the post. (There’s no accounting for it that I know of. And I don’t know how to fix it either!)
When we talk about suffering and longsuffering, we must remember that we are not alone in our experience. Far from it. Jesus Himself is a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). We serve a longsuffering God: “But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth” (Psalm 86:15).
We serve a God who is longsuffering toward us, and He is the source of all patience and longsuffering for us. So we look to Him for the supply. Colossians 1: 11 tells us that God strengthens us (“according to His glorious power”) for “all patience and longsuffering with joy.” This means that God doesn’t just give us the ability to endure and persevere in trials, Read More
In the well known list of the fruit of the Spirit (in Galatians 5:22-23), sandwiched between those pleasant fruits of peace and kindness, is the overlooked fruit called longsuffering. What is this fruit? What does longsuffering mean exactly? Surely it must have a nicer definition in Greek.
Longsuffering means suffering for a long time. This does not sound very appealing. ButÂ many things in this life (provocations and afflictions) require long-term suffering,Â discipline, and patience. And what better encouragement can there be for us than to know that God has a special fruit that is dispensed by His Holy Spirit that enables us feeble creatures to hang in there for the long haul.
Many people have griefs and injuries, chronic pain and ailments that require longsuffering. Old age suffers long. But notice in both these passages, longsuffering is surrounded with kindness: “Love suffers long and is kind” (I Cor. 13:4) and from Galatians, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness…”
When we are called to an extended time of suffering, patience works itself out in kindness. And kindness always looks out for others. So when we are suffering for a long time, we do well to turn our eyes to the needs of others. Longsuffering has a good companion in kindness. Kindness points us away from our own troubles and gets us to minister to others. And kindness always has a gang of friends along: joy, peace, goodness, faithfulness, and the rest of them. And that is good company.
Self-control, like patience, is a fruit of the Spirit that makes us cringe. It seems unattainable, elusive, impossible, and we can beat ourselves up over our lack of it in many areas. Now I don’t have a magic formula that I found in some obscure verse in the Bible. But here is some practical, and I hope biblical, advice.
God is perfect, but He is not a perfectionist. He gives us commands, and He promises to enable us to obey Him by means of the grace He abundantly provides. But we are pretty thick and our flesh is obstinate and won’t go along quietly at all. So we flub up consistently, which should be a potent reminder that Christianity is the religion for us: we need a Savior.
Sometimes we don’t have self-control because we are not defining it biblically, but in a worldly way. We think that if we had self-control, we would all wear a size 6 and be in great shape because we were getting in an hour of exercise everyday after having our two-hour quiet time and a bowl of granola. And since very few of us attain to such things, we all think we are pretty pathetic, and we look with Read More
Definition: To exercise authority over oneself by submitting oneâ€™s own emotions, desires, thoughts, and actions to the Word of God. This includes being sober, clear-minded, serious, watchful, alert, and vigilant.
God is the source of self-control; Godâ€™s grace teaches us to live soberly.
Galatians 5:22- 23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present ageâ€¦
We glorify God by bearing such fruit.
Philippians 1:9-11 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
John 15:8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples. Read More
The fruit of the Spirit is….gentleness. What does that mean? To be gentle is to be easily handled, tame, kindly serene, mild, not violent, not harsh, not rough. Like all the other fruit of the Spirit, this gentleness is first displayed in God.
God is Gentle
Psalm 18:35b “Thy gentleness hath made me great.”
Jesus is Gentle.
Matthew 11:28-29 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Paul behaved with gentleness.
1 Thessalonians 2:7 But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. For Read More