I'm working on Longsuffering. Did you know that this word appears in Scripture about 15 times, mostly describing God. Once Paul uses it for himself.... and really, the man deserved it because he was beaten with 39 stripes 5 times... hear it from his own pen.
2Co 11:24 Five times I received forty stripes minus one from the Jews. 25 I was flogged three times; I was stoned once; I was shipwrecked three times; I have spent a night and a day in the deep. 26 I have been in travels often, in dangers of rivers, in dangers of robbers, in dangers from my race, in dangers from the nations, in dangers in the city, in dangers in a wilderness, in dangers in the sea, in dangers among false brothers, 27 in hardship and toil, often in watchings, in hunger and thirst, often in fastings, in cold and nakedness, 28 besides the things outside conspiring against me day by day, the care of all the assemblies. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is caused to stumble, and I do not burn? 30 If it is right to boast, I will boast of the things of my infirmity.
David Jeremiah said in a sermon once that he was in the hosptial recovering from his cancer surgery. He was in severe pain and was basically wondering if he was going to live much longer. He was opening get well cards and pulled one out with the above verses on the front cover. On the inside of the card was written,
"And SO... How are you doing?"
He said, "At first, I was just flabbergasted. What kind of sick individual would send a get well card like this? Then it hit me. After all that Paul had been through, he was still loving others and caring about them. He loved God more that ever. So... how was I doing? Much better after I got the real message of that card. I was feeling a whole lot better than if I'd be flogged with 39 stripes or spending the night in the ocean, that's for sure. I can tell you that!"
True. I look at those verses and suddenly the argument with my HBL takes on a whole new meaning. What is important is the person. What matters is the person. Who is first in our lives is God and, of course, that comes above all things... but, the person is who God created and the person is who God loves so we should, too.
Longsuffering. Literally mean "long of nose". Apparently, in the Hebrew it was a word used to describe how the nostrils flare and the breathing is really deep and fast when anger consumes a person. So, the Long part put before the suffering part meant that there was much patience without anger.
I'm working on Longsuffering. Give me a day or two. I hope you'll like it as much as I have loved doing this series. I have learned so much!