Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. I Peter 4:16.
Many people are often surprised that longsuffering is one of the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit. The question often asked is, “What does longsuffering really mean?” It is simply to suffer for a long time. So does this mean if one is walking in the Spirit, he or she should be able to endure suffering for an extended period of time? The answer is yes. As matter of fact, the Apostle Peter puts it this way, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His Glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (I Peter 4:12-13). James, Jesus’ brother puts it this way, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2). And Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation (suffering or trouble); but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” John 16:33.
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