As I partake of my spiritual nourishment this morning in God’s Word through the book of Ezra, the Holy Spirit is reminding me of long-suffering. Then, oh goodness, I felt a blog post coming on.
What does Long Suffering mean to you?
There have been many examples of long suffering throughout the Bible– long periods of time where people endured situations that were unbearable by our own standards. But, let’s think about it for a moment; the Israelites were held in captivity and subjected to slavery by the Egyptians for 400 years. Once released from captivity by the leading of Moses, they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years; most dying there to never experience the promised land at all!
These are just a couple of the examples we read about and pay no attention to as it relates to the magnitude of each timespan. Yet, we consider the time we live in and it seems like an eternity when actually, it’s merely a bleep on the radar screen based on our appointed time here on earth.
When we consider our own woes; unemployment, homelessness, the loss of loved ones, any of our situations that hinder us (in our minds) from moving forward, we see them as so massive, we know that it’s only by the grace of God that we are even making it through.
When we delve even deeper into the details of long-suffering throughout history, we come to have a better understanding of how common suffering really is and how short the span of time where we actually suffer.
Now here’s a thought that will knock your socks off…
The duration of our suffering depends on us.
That’s right, our perception of our self-proclaimed long suffering can be minimized based on how we look at it. How long have you had a particular problem? When did it begin? What does it stem from? What can I actually do about it? What are my options? I typically inform people that they don’t have a problem, they just have a decision to make.
Sometimes, we become so overcome by our woes that we don’t take the time to sit back, roll up our sleeves and consider the possibilities. The important thing to realize is that there will always be trials and there will always be opposition. After all, what makes us any different or better than our examples in the Bible? We cannot go through this life without encountering some type of trouble. We’re not supposed to. Yet, we allow trouble to frustrate us and make us miserable. Time out for that nonsense!
The more we dissect the origin of our woes, the more we understand the power we have over their effect on our lives through our faith in Jesus Christ.
You see, the purpose of faith is not always to keep us from trouble, but to carry us through it.
Take some time to consider the opposition that many have faced in the past, as illustrated in God’s Word and consider their long suffering. I do believe that their realities will help you to consider different perspectives for your own long suffering so you can begin to gain control of your life in a way that offers a different outlook for you and a reliance on the resources available to you in changing your situation through understanding that God is with you and that He will never leave you, nor forsake you.
Now, about those resources – God has already equipped you with EVERYTHING you need to get through anything that comes your way. You just have to figure out how to retrieve it. Are you ready to get to work? Come on then, let’s do this!