The Fruit Of The Spirit

Gal 5:22

Lesson 5

The Fruits Of Long-suffering and Temperance

Colossians 1:11 Colossians 3:12,13

James 1:3,4 Hebrews 10:36

Romans 5:3,4 2 Peter 1:6

I decided to combine these two fruits because they are very similar and support each other. First letís get a definition of them both

Long-suffering: patience, endurance, steadfastness, perseverance, forbearance, slowness in avenging wrongs. Having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people.

Patience: steadfastness, constancy, endurance, not swerved from his deliberate purpose and loyalty to faith by even the greatest trials and sufferings, steadfast, waiting, patient, enduring.

Temperance: self control, the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions. Emotional Restraint or Self-Control. Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but one who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

I was not born a patient person. I was and still am a NOW person. Over the years God has matured me and is turning me into a patient person. But because I am a very passionate person, I used to act on the spur of the moment, rather than to think things out and be "patient" and rely on God that I will know when is the right time. Now, after many years of study and learning, I try to weigh all sides of something, do my research in the Word and with God's help, be patient to wait for it to come to pass. I am still growing and learning.

Col. 1:11 says,
Be strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness."

How many of us can do that on our own? We usually want things done, yesterday! We constantly want to "Help" God out. I know for myself, I still get impatient with people that donít understand what I am saying or trying to show them. I want to take it out of their hands and "Do It Myself". But that is wrong, and God has helped me over the years to understand that not everyone is going to do it "My Way" and that He is very patient and long-suffering with me! I thank God he didnít give up on me.

Col. 3:12-14 says this
Therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things, put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

Long-suffering or patience helps you to get along with others. Lack of it shows immaturity. Notice that there are other fruits of the Spirit mentioned in this verse, mercy, kindness, meekness and above all else, LOVE. So obviously they all work together to help you overcome your lack of patience. Love is a strong force. Without it, patience is an impossibility. If I donít love you, I certainly am not going to be patient with you.

For a few years Tom and I were in charge of a childrenís ministry. Believe me you have to have patience when you have up to 80 children under your care. I believe God used this as a tool to develop patience in both of us. Some of those children would push you to the limit, but we loved them and saw their needs and it helped us to be patient and to understand what was motivating them.
Likewise when we were pastoring a church years ago. There were many opportunities to test our patience. But the word of God tells us this.

James 1: 2-7
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Note...that if we doubt, we can't expect to receive anything from God. Because if we are double minded in one thing we are unstable in all our ways. And since all we have to do is ask God for wisdom...because he gives to us in abundance...why should we doubt?

Now I am sure we all clap our hands with Joy when trials come our way. Well maybe not, but like in a previous lesson, the Joy of the Lord will help us get through it. And if we meet it with the right attitude, it will bring forth the fruit of patience or long-suffering. God will not send evil our way, like sickness and disease. But there will be things that will try our faith, to see just what we believe. To see if we can stand against it and come up smiling. If you read further on in this chapter of James, it will tell you that God will not tempt with evil.

James 1:13-17
New King James Version
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, ďI am tempted by GodĒ; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

These scriptures show us that our own lusts and desires will draw us into and bring trials and temptations our way. If we can have patience and temperance we will not be overcome by the temptations that the devil brings our way. We will overcome them, and learn in the process. The devil knows just where to attack you. He knows your weaknesses and will come at you from that point. It is whether we let him do it or not. Will we take it as an opportunity to prove our faith in God, or submit ourselves to it. I donít want to be barren in the things of God, I want to be fruitful, donít you? Satan would try to keep us blind and unfruitful. Donít let him!

1 Peter 5:8
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
8 Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. 9 Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onsetórooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.

We are only tempted if we allow ourselves to be drawn away from the Word. If we know the Word and have it in our hearts, there should be no temptation we can't overcome through help of the Holy Spirit. I know I want patience to have itís perfect work in me. I donít pray for trials and tests, they just come, and I am learning to rely on the Lord and His word to get through them.

Long suffering does not mean "Suffer long" We donít have to sit in the middle of the test or trial and just stay there, and "Suffer". We go through! We also do not "Suffer Long" with those around us...although it may seem that way sometimes. But we do have to have patience with people, especially if they are young Christians and are not developed in the same areas you are. They have to learn the same as we do...so have patience and help them avoid some of the traps you fell into.

Hebrews 10:35-36
35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

It is only going forward that you gain the patience and the reward. God made us More than Conquerors. If you don't take control in a trial, it will cause you to stumble. Some people have lost their faith because they were overcome in the midst of a trial.

Romans 8:36-39
36 As it is written: ďFor Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.Ē 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith, but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

1 Corinthians 16:13
13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong

I want to please the Lord, donít you? Push forward and endure. Be patient, and God will reward you.

Romans 5:3-5 We glory in tribulation also, knowing that tribulation works patience, and patience, experience and experience hope, and hope makes us not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Donít ask God for patience. Tribulation will come without asking for it. Just ask God to help you face it and get through it and come out the other side a better person and patience will come in the process! Some people pray "God give me patience" Then when tribulation and tests come, they complain and sit in the middle of it and moan that God didnít hear my prayer. They learn nothing and become a grumbler instead of Joyful. I pray this for you, that God will help you to recognize the opportunity for growth! That is the way to face it, as an opportunity for God to develop you and teach you. Not because of the trial, but in spite of it. Again, trials and temptations will come, it is how we face them that counts! Will they defeat us? Or help us grow?

Going back to our definition of Temperance again - Temperance: self control, the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions.

We all have things in our lives that may be harder to overcome then others. Or people that seem to really try your patience and make us lose our self control.

If it is a habit or temptation that you are trying to over come and you stubble...forgive yourself, ask God to forgive you and move on, determined that you will continue in the Word and conquer that problem with God's help.

If it is a person we may blurt out at them...losing your temper. The thing to do in that instance is say you are sorry, ask them to forgive you...and most important...ask God to forgive you. Then see how you can learn to overcome the problem with the Word of God.

So for the fruits of Long-suffering (patience) and Temperance, we will go through these things. But the key word is "Through". By gaining patience, we will be able to deal with all sorts of people and situations and the frustrations they may bring. We will be slow to anger and forgiving. Not quick to correct, or control, but teach. Will not be swayed from our faith, during the hardest of trials, but stand steadfast, no matter how long it takes. We will have more self control when it comes to our desires and passions. But most of all, we will please God!

2 Peter 1:3-10
According to His divine power has he given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory and virtue. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust, and beside this giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue, and to virtue, knowledge, and to knowledge, temperance, and to temperance, patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness, brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, love. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that you shall neither be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

We should all memorize this scripture. It says it all. "If these things be in you...you will not be unfruitful in the knowledge of God." Without them, we are blind. Blind to what the Word says about us, and forgetful about what Christ did for us!

So let's not be without them. Let's put into practice the things we learn in the Word and change ourselves and help others change too.

Written by Judy Warren

Lesson 6
 

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