The concept of long suffering in the Bible is closely tied to God’s nature and His relationship with humanity. It emphasizes God’s willingness to endure and tolerate the faults, sins, and disobedience of His people over an extended period of time. It reflects His boundless love, mercy, and forgiveness towards humanity, despite their shortcomings.
Long suffering in the Bible encourages believers to
We have all seen impatient people. The man in line at check-out grumbles about the slowness of the cashier. A driver weaves in and out of the lanes to get to the next light faster, shaking her fist at the long-suffering-meaning-in-the-bible/” title=”Long Suffering Meaning In The Bible”>crawling car ahead.
It’s natural to think, “Thank goodness I’m not like that person!” in certain situations. But there are moments when we have to accept that we are those individuals. We injure people with our harsh words and actions when we are in a rush or when we feel insulted. Worse still, we could rationalize our actions as being acceptable.
Thank God, He doesn’t treat us like that. He demonstrates patience, love, and mercy. Even when He has every reason to be, He never loses His temper or is frustrated.
Despite all the evil we’ve done, God nevertheless interacts with us with patience and offers us a chance to put our trust in Him. Scripture provides a particular name for this quality of God: long-suffering.
Long Suffering Meaning In The Bible
We learn that God is kind and that His patience has nothing to do with how people behave or react to Him from the Greek term translated as long-suffering and from the events in Scripture.
It was not because there was any good in the people of Noah’s day that He was patient with them.
Also, Jesus has mercifully given people today time to come to Him in faith, even though we do not deserve His compassion and kindness. Because of who he is, he is able to deal with us calmly and gently.
Long-suffering and the Christian Life
Another reason that the Bible uses the word long-suffering is that this is a trait that Christians should display in their life. Since God is long-suffering, His followers should show patience to others too.
What does the Bible mean by longsuffering?
It has been said that longsuffering means “suffering long.” That is a good answer, but a better definition is needed. The word longsuffering in the Bible is made up of two Greek words meaning “long” and “temper”; literally, “long-tempered.” To be longsuffering, then, is to have self-restraint when one is stirred to anger. A longsuffering person does not immediately retaliate or punish; rather, he has a “long fuse” and patiently forbears. Longsuffering is associated with mercy (1 Peter 3:20) and hope (1 Thessalonians 1:3). It does not surrender to circumstances or succumb to trial.
Exodus 34:6; Numbers 14:18–20; Psalm 86:15; Romans 2:4; 1 Peter 3:9; 2 Peter 3:15) all attribute God as the source of longsuffering. He bears with those who err. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18-19) and Israel’s captivity (2 Kings 17:1-23; 24:17-25:30) show that God’s longsuffering may also cease.
When a person puts their faith in Jesus Christ, they take on God’s own nature as their own (2 Peter 1:4). Obedience to the Holy Spirit, who dwells inside the believer, causes the Christian to exhibit particular qualities (fruit). Godliness, as described in Galatians 5:22-23, includes “longsuffering.” The term is rendered “patience” in the New American Standard Bible. All followers of Christ are called to be patient (Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 1:11; 3:12).
Think how our lives would be affected if longsuffering were exhibited in individual relationships, family relationships, church relationships, and workplace relationships. The old nature can be very short-fused at times, and we tend to strike back against offenses with unkind words and unforgiving spirits. By obeying the Holy Spirit, the believer in Christ can say “no” to retaliation and exhibit a forgiving and longsuffering attitude. As God is longsuffering with us, we can and must be longsuffering with others (Ephesians 4:30–32).
The ultimate example of God’s longsuffering is His waiting for individuals to respond in faith to Jesus Christ. God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Have you made the decision to believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you and that He rose again to provide forgiveness and eternal life? If not, read Romans 10:9–13.