How to Walk in the Spirit of Longsuffering

James 5:7-10


  1. In our studies on the fruit of the Spirit, we will consider longsuffering.

    1. Sam has been talking about that a bit on our Wed night class in Colossians.

    2. Longsuffering is suffering long, and it is an important aspect of being a

    3. Christian.

    4. It is so important in fact, that through faith and longsuffering we can inherit the promises of God (Heb. 6:11-12).

      And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and [longsuffering] inherit the promises.

    5. In context, the writer is talking about Abraham, and we know how longsuffering he was, waiting until he was 100 years old before having a son, fulfilling the promises of God.

    6. And you can’t have those promises fulfilled without faith and longsuffering!

  2. This is often equated with patience.

    1. The Greek word is even translated as patience in Heb. 6:12 NKJV.

    2. Yet there are two kinds of patience in the Bible.

    3. One is patience with a situation (that is perseverance), while the other is patience with others (that is longsuffering).

    4. Longsuffering is putting up with a lot; one might even call it bearing with one another (Eph. 4:1-3; Col. 3:12-13).

    • I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

    • Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

    1. Through that longsuffering, we can find peace with another another!

  1. There is a poem that we might be familiar with that expresses the difficulty of patience.

    1. Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can. Found seldom in a woman, never in a man.”

    2. Yet there is one Man who had the most patience and longsuffering—that is Jesus Christ (James 5:10).

    3. He is an example of suffering and longsuffering!

    4. So that is our lesson for this morning, examining Jesus’ life and his example of longsuffering that we might follow.

  2. Preview.

    1. Longsuffering with Sinners.

    2. Longsuffering with Friends.

    3. Longsuffering with Enemies.


  1. Longsuffering with Sinners.

    1. Adulterers (John 8:1-11).

    2. Tax collectors (Mark 2:15-17).

    3. Penitent sinners (Luke 7:36-50).

  2. Longsuffering with Friends.

    1. Longsuffering when they don’t get it.

      1. They don’t get it on the boat (Mark 8:13-21) – not understanding.

      2. They don’t get it in Samaria (Luke 9:51-56) – calling fire from heaven.

      3. They don’t get it in Caesarea Philippi (Matt. 16:21-23) – no He won’t suffer and die.

      4. They don’t get it on the road to Jerusalem (Mark 10:35-40) – James and John the greatest.

    2. Longsuffering when they deny you.

      1. Even when Peter denied Him (Matt. 10:33; Luke 22:54-62).

      2. He even went so far as to restore Peter (John 21:15-17).

    3. Longsuffering when they betray you.

      1. He knew who was going to betray Him.

      2. He was patient with the thief (John 12:1-8).

      3. Even in the process of betrayal (Matt. 26:47-50).

      • Friend, why have you come?” (Matt. 26:50).

  1. Longsuffering with Enemies.

    1. In the face of envy and hatred (Mark 15:10).

    2. In the face of intense questioning (Mark 12; 14:53-62).

    3. In the face of mockery, pain, and torture (Mark 14:63-65; 15:16-20).

    4. In the face of death (Mark 15:32b; Luke 23:34, 39-43; Matt. 26:53).

      • Thieves, forgiveness, and 12 legions of angels.


  1. Longsuffering brings peace.

    1. Peace brings joy.

    2. Love is the motivation!

    3. And to be longsuffering, you must be gentle and kind with the other aspects of the fruit of the Spirit.

    4. In fact, if we cultivate kindness and gentleness, longsuffering with come naturally.

    5. In whatever state we are in, we ought to bear with one another in love.

  2. Let us take Jesus as our example of patience and longsuffering.

    1. It is not easy, for it is a high standard to keep.

    2. But if we do so, it will benefit us greatly.

    3. Be sure to be longsuffering with sinners, for you are a sinner, too.

    4. Be sure to be longsuffering with friends, for they mean well.

    5. And be sure to be longsuffering with enemies, because Christ died for them, too.

  3. Obey the gospel this morning!