Longsuffering and Patience
Do you know what the shortest chapter in the Bible is? It is Psalm 117, which has only two short verses. It is also the middle chapter of the Bible! It tells us of God’s patience and longsuffering. Verse two says: “His merciful kindness is great toward us.” Even when we sin, God reminds us through the gospel that our sins are all forgiven by the merit work of Jesus. This is because of God’s great love for us.
The Bible has many good reminders about the importance of being patient and longsuffering. One of the best examples is in the Old Testament; it tells of a man named Job. He suffered more than most of us can imagine. God gave Job a patient and longsuffering heart to help in his trials. God greatly blessed Job later in life.
Being patient and longsuffering means to be tolerant and slow to anger. It means that we don’t complain, but rather, are loving and understanding. Sometimes we need patience when we have our own troubles, but perhaps most often it is needed in situations with other people.
Jesus Is a Good Example
Some mothers brought their children to Jesus so He could bless them. The disciples saw what was happening and became impatient. Perhaps the little ones were noisy, irritating the disciples. Maybe they thought it was more important for Jesus to spend time with adults rather than children. When Jesus saw the disciples trying to send the mothers and children away, He was not pleased. He picked up the children, drew them close to Him and blessed them. Jesus taught about the beauty of God’s kingdom and the special gift we have in children (Mark 10:13–15).
Sometimes it can be easy to get mad or impatient with brothers or sisters at home. We might want to argue or fight back, but the Holy Spirit reminds us to have a forgiving heart with others. It’s good at that moment to remember God’s great love toward us. If we can step back and be patient with our siblings, this will help mom and dad keep a peaceful home!
God loves all people so much! He sent His only Son to give His innocent life as payment for our sins. Jesus was the most patient and longsuffering person who ever lived. He willingly died on the cross for us—we sinners who are so easily impatient with others. It is good we can again be reminded in the gospel that all our faults and sins, including impatience, are forgiven in Jesus’ name and blood!
Things to Visit About:
1. How would you describe patience and longsuffering?
2. Tell about situations in your life that needed patience and longsuffering. What was the result?
3. Share an example of when someone was especially patient with you.