So far we have covered three major fruits of the Spirit, Love, Joy and Peace. Each of these fruits not only represents our hearts towards God but His heart towards us. God loves us, joys over us and is at peace with us. Being attached to the vine is being attached to His love, joy and peace. He gives to us from Himself. We in turn give to others what we receive from Him. Therefore, the magnitude of our relationship with God is the magnitude of our relationship with other people or the more I receive His love, joy and peace , the more I’m able to give His love, joy and peace.
This week’s challenge is one that just might put a frown on your face because no one wants to suffer let alone suffer long. But I encourage you to remember that fruits are produced in us by the Holy Spirit. It’s not what we have to do it’s what we have to let flow through us. So let’s look at longsuffering.
First, longsuffering doesn’t mean that you allow yourself to be a push over and let people walk all over you while you lay there and suffer. No, that’s a person that’s insecure and lacking in confidence. Neither does it mean that we suffer long with anything that the enemy does because we’ve been given victory over him through Christ. The kind of longsuffering that the Holy Spirit produces in us comes out of love and love is power. God was and is longsuffering with us because He loves us. We in turn are longsuffering with other people because we know God’s love. Whenever we’re ready to give up and cut people out of our lives it’s knowing the love of God that enables us to be longsuffering especially when people keep doing the same thing over and over again. Paul in writing about love said, “love suffereth long and is kind…” (2 Cor. 13:4). So we don’t suffer long with a bad attitude but with the heart of God which is love, joy and peace.
Maybe you’ve already come to the point where you’ve given up on someone and vowed never to deal with that person again. Maybe it’s your son or daughter or husband or wife. This week I challenge you to see how much God loves you. How when you were a sinner Christ died for you and never gave up on you. How he suffers long with you because of His love for you and allow the Holy Spirit to flow through you that fruit of longsuffering. The choice is yours.