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The Fruit of the Spirit - Long-suffering

Ephesians 4:1-4 (TPT) says 'As a prisoner of the Lord, I plead with you to walk holy, in a way that is suitable to your high rank, given to you in your divine calling. With tender humility and quiet patience, always demonstrate gentleness and generous love toward one another, especially toward those who may try your patience. Be faithful to guard the sweet harmony of the Holy Spirit among you in the bonds of peace, being one body and one spirit, as you were all called into the same glorious hope of divine destiny.' Long-suffering means enduring injury, trouble, or provocation long and patiently. It's the ability to deal with difficult people without becoming angry. The Lord Himself deals with long-suffering towards us. 2 Peter 3:9 says 'The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.' The Lord has shown much patience with us. The Word tells us that His mercy endures forever (Psalm 118:1). Patience has been one of the hardest things for me to learn. I've come a long way, and it's all because of the grace of the Lord. I cannot do it on my own and the Holy Spirit has endured a lot from me. I know there have been times that I have grieved the Holy Spirit, but praise God I can repent and the Lord is faithful to forgive me (1 John 1:9). Praise God for His mercy and patience! There has definitely been long-suffering on the Lord's part for me. This is a fruit of the Spirit that we all need. Especially during these trying times. But the Word says that the Lord does not change (Malachi 3:6). The Lord is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). Ephesians 6:10 says 'Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.' The Lord is our strength, and He will direct us, protect us, and confirm His Word in every situation we face. James 1:4 says 'But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.' Let us all strive to be patient with each other so we can stand during this period of testing and trials. God has this, and none of it has taken Him by surprise. Remember, Jesus told His disciples in John 15:12 'This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.' Being able to deal with difficult people without becoming angry, long-suffering, is a fruit of the Spirit.

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