Lord, grant that I may become more involved in the healing and redeeming work of the Christian community in your world. Help me not to think negatively about the world but to see it with your eyes and always to remember the glory of Christ’s resurrection as the supreme event in world history. This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ – AMEN.
I pray today Lord for people in those countries where poverty and unemployment abound. Help them not to despair but to find ways to work hard to earn something that will enable them to eat and help them to hang on in hope. Help their economists and politicians to co-operate to bring more prosperity. I ask it in Christ’s name – AMEN.
Lord, let this Sunday be a day of glory to you. Prompt all who lead worship to structure their services so that whatever mood people are in when they come to worship, they will become supremely aware of God and his glory, Jesus Christ and his triumphant victory over sin and evil. Let your glory shine forth in all the earth. I ask in Christ – AMEN.
“The fruit of the Spirit is … long-suffering”
Galatians 5:22 KJV
In a world of suffering it is hardly surprising that there will be some people who manage to cope with it without complaining. They are rare souls indeed. But some have been touched by God and, filled with his Spirit, they endure privations, physical pain and sometimes the cruel treatment that humans mete out to one another. In the city of Alexandria in northern Egypt a Christian, centuries ago, “was being ridiculed, humiliated, insulted, cursed and physically maltreated. One tormentor asked him what miracles his beloved Jesus had performed. ‘He has wrought this miracle, that I am enduring the injuries you heap upon me, without losing my tranquillity of mind, and would be ready to endure even greater injuries for love of him, if you were to proceed to inflict them’” (Soldier’s Armoury, 1981, p70).
The word translated in the King James Version as “longsuffering” can also be rendered “patience, endurance, or courage”. It really means to keep good-tempered under provocation. It denotes someone who does not “let fly”. “It is used to describe God’s attitude to Israel – his awareness of their sin and yet his long patience with his people even in their iniquity… When Paul commends it to his correspondents in all their dealings with their fellows, he does so on the background of God’s forbearance with us” (W. E. Sangster, The Pure in Heart, p125).
Like the other fruit of the Spirit this kind of forbearance is a gift from God. It cannot be whipped up, worked up or pretended. The Spirit alone can bring it by recreating the mind and mentality of Jesus in his followers. Follow where your Lord has led!
Lord, help me to endure suffering with calmness and dignity.
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