Love is patient… Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things… – 1 Corinthians 13:4,7
But the fruit of the Spirit is…patience. – Galatians 5:22
Scripture reading: 1 Peter 2:13-25
One form of patience is to be long-suffering. Jerry Bridges says long-suffering is:
“the ability to suffer a long time under the mistreatment of others without growing resentful or bitter. The occasions for exercising this quality are numerous; they vary from seemingly innocent practical jokes all the way to malicious wrongs. They include ridicule, scorn, insults, and undeserved rebukes, as well as outright persecution. The Christian who is the victim of office politics or organizational power plays must react with long-suffering. The believing husband or wife who is rejected or mistreated by an unbelieving spouse needs this kind of patience.”
This doesn’t come easy. Again, we find both the pattern and the power to be a long-suffering people as we behold the long-suffering of Christ in the Gospel (1 Peter 2:21-25). The person who is patient under mistreatment by others is the person who is thankful for the long-suffering of Christ in our salvation and who, by the Spirit, is being conformed into His image. As we look to Christ in the Gospel, the Spirit produces Christ-like confidence in the wisdom, power, justice and steadfast love and faithfulness of God so that we are able to entrust our circumstances into His hands. Whatever sufferings we go through, we trust that God has a good purpose behind it (Romans 8:28-30). Whatever injustice we suffer, we know that one day God will right every wrong and wipe away all tears from our eyes (Romans 12:19; Revelation 21:4).
Suggestions for prayer
Pray that God will give you the immeasurable power of the Spirit to be long-suffering under mistreatment by others. Pray for God’s mercy and strength for the persecuted church.