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There are many believers today who are going through trials—they are faint, weary, fallen. They are experiencing spiritual paralysis because of weariness. As a result, they are about to faint. The following verse, however, is a beautiful definition of longsuffering:
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
(Isa. 40:31)
The strength of believers who are patiently waiting upon the Lord during their trials will be evident as they rise above their circumstances, run without growing weary, and walk without fainting. The key to possessing this strength is to learn how to wait upon the Lord.

In Acts 1:4, Jesus commanded His disciples to "wait for the promise of the Father...." Their response to this command is a good example of how believers should wait upon God.

They did not gather in the upper room and begin to say to one another: "When is this thing ever going to manifest? We've been waiting here for so long now, and still nothing has happened." On the contrary, while they were waiting, they "all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication..." (Acts 1:14).

In time of trial, waiting on God means standing in earnest expectation and praying with supplications, intercessions, and thanksgiving. Believers who are truly waiting on God are eagerly anticipating the manifestation of the answer to their prayers.

Another way to develop the fruit of longsuffering is to be maintaining hope:
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
(Rom. 8:24-25)
According to 1 Peter 1:13, hope produces a longsuffering heart: Believers who lose their hope will give up their patience. Actually, those who lose their hope lose their hearts (Prov. 13:12).

Secondly, a believer must maintain hope during a time of trial. As long as he can see a mere speck of light at the end of the long, dark tunnel of his trial, there is hope. If the enemy, however, can steal that little ray of hope, then he will give up.

For example, if a person can no longer "see" his spouse saved, he will give up praying and believing for that salvation. In the same way, if a believer can no longer "see" the manifestation of his healing, or the restoration of a broken relationship, or the victory over a besetting sin, he will give up and accept defeat in that area of his life.

Any Christian who loses hope during his trial will eventually give up and no longer wait upon God. Thus, hope is vital in order to experience the manifestation of divine deliverance.

Thirdly, a believer must maintain hope in others. If he loses hope in someone, then he will become very bitter and short-tempered with that individual and will eventually experience unforgiveness toward him or her.

He will also make statements such as: "He'll never make it." "There's just no hope for her." This happens frequently in marriages, churches, or in any institution in which people who spend a lot of time together have the opportunity of really getting to know one another well.

Once again, a person who loses hope for others is like the servant in the parable of Jesus who would not overlook his fellow servant's fault because he lacked patience (Matt. 18:28-30). Loss of hope for someone always opens the door to strife in a relationship.

Every man surely is aware of the brevity of life; who honestly desires to spend his precious time suffering? The child of God, however, who yields his life in humble trust and obedience to his loving Father will say with David of old: "My times are in thy hand..." (Ps. 31:15). He will learn to say it both during his times of pleasure and his times of suffering.

Blessed is the person who develops the fruit of longsuffering, for he will discover in his life that truly "...all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28).

The fruit of longsuffering is indeed a "benefit...of our salvation" (Ps. 68:19), for it enables us to live more meaningful lives by helping us to profit from our times of suffering, so that none of our days be lost.

Source: A Call For Character by Greg Zoschak
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Greg Zoschak
Web site: Greg Zoschak
Greg Zoschak's lifelong ambition was to become a professional football player, and became born again through the influence of his high school coach. Years later, Greg began to feel a call to the ministry, but football kept tugging at him as well. A motorcycle accident later on forced him to discontinue his pursuit of football; at that time, his ambitions began to change and pull him toward God.

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