“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering“
The fifth garment of spirituality the believer is to “put on” is “longsuffering.”
Longsuffering is self-restraint. In the face of provocation we hold steady (1:11). Although we have the power to take revenge we do not exercise that power. Although we might resent someone for what they do to us, we choose not to become resentful.
Despair, bitterness or cynicism does not drive the longsuffering person. He does not succumb under duress. He holds self-restraint in the face of provocation. He withholds retaliation and is not prompt to punish others. Longsuffering is patience through long sequential stages of trial.
Longsuffering is associated with hope in I Thes 1:3; mercy in Romans 2:4; I Peter 3:20.
God is longsuffering with us (Romans 2:4; ; 9:22). Why should not God ask the same of us (James 5:7-11)?
Longsuffering is patience for the long haul. Most of us can suffer for a short time. Few can endure monotony or trial for long. We need to have courage for the great trial and patience for the ongoing trial.
A believer who is longsuffering orients to pressure, adversity and suffering. God can only bless us by suffering in time. God cannot bless us by suffering in eternity because there will be no suffering in eternity.
”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22,23).
“Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy” (Col. 1:11).
Longsuffering is the capacity to suffer a long time without provocation.
One of the most difficult character traits to develop is the ability to suffer for a long time. That is one of the hardest things God calls upon us to do. Many of us can put up with provocation if it is not for very long. God wants us to suffer long both the mischief of men and the rebukes of God’s providential working.