“Love suffers long…” 1 Corinthians 13:4, NKJV
Have you ever said to someone, “I don’t know how you put up with him.” “How do you put up with her?” I have asked my mother this question many times over the course of my life. In dealing with people, she continues to love no matter what. It shows her unbelievable strength and her supernatural ability to be longsuffering.
In the above scripture, the original meaning of to “suffer long” is to be long spirited, that is, (objectively) forbearing or (subjectively) patient. God is patient and longsuffering toward us all. He desires for us all to come into a true knowledge of Him, so He waits…and waits…and waits. He gives us many chances and opportunities to receive His love, His wisdom, His help and His mercy.
You might say, “I would more patient with people if I saw a sign of hope. But they aren’t giving me any reason to be longsuffering, and it makes it difficult to put up with.”
We also gave God no hope that we would ever receive Him, but He chose to wait for us until we finally understood He was the way. If we are going to imitate our Father, we must learn how to wait while God work on others just as He is working on us.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for being so patient with me. Help me learn to be patient and longsuffering, not just with others, but also with myself. I pray that You help me love others the way You love me. In Jesus name, Amen.
(Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 4:2)