The Divine Longsuffering

In First Peter 3 it reads “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit, by Whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.”

Longsuffering is very different from what we know as patience. Patience involves waiting for a period of time for the fulfillment of a promise, or, waiting for someone to perform a task to expectations. It is “the capacity, habit, or fact of being patient.’ Patient means to “bear pains or trials calmly and without complaint; to be steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity. Also, to be patient means to manifest forbearance  under provocation, or strain` (Merriam Webster’s Dictionary). .Longsuffering, on the other hand means “patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship” or,.”Suffering for a long time without complaining; very patient during difficult times.”

As the Ark was being built, the Father was forbearing and enduring the continuous provocation of the wickedness of the sons of men. In Genesis 6 it reads “And the Lord said: “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be 120 years. There were giants on the earth, and also afterward, when the sons of God came into the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent and the thoughts of his heart were evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He made man on the earth., and He was grieved in His heart.

So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. Noah was then instructed to build the ark. As the ark was being prepared, the Divine longsuffering was preparing for the completion of the salvation of eight souls. Centuries later, the Divine longsuffering Father sent His Son Jesus Christ to become the author of our own salvation. His sacrifice on the cross fulfilled the prophecy of the coming suffering Messiah found in Isaiah 53 where:  “He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon Him , and by His stripes we are healed.”

Isaiah 53 also says: “we all like sheep have gone astray.”  But the Lord has been continuously longsuffering toward you so that you would come to repentance. He has patiently endured the lasting offense we have given Him because of our sin and unbelief toward His love for us. Now is the time to turn around, and turn away from the sin that so easily besets us, and causes us to stumble in life, and start to run the race with patience, turning ours hearts toward Him.  He has waited and longed for the day where you would finally recognize His intent toward you. His thoughts toward you are thoughts of peace, not of evil, to give you a future and hope. For the Name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and find safety.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.            John 3: 16

 

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