It is clear from scripture that God is very longsuffering and fortitudinous.
The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Num. 14:18 KJV
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Ex. 34:6 KJV
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Romans 2:4 KJV
I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard for you to come up with some Bible stories that are an example of God’s longsuffering…Take a moment to think and meditate on those right now.
Before we get any further I think it is important for us to understand what these two words really mean. To help with that I will provide the 1828 dictionary definitions for them.
- FOR’TITUDE, n. [L. fortitudo, from fortis, strong.]
That strength or firmness of mind or soul which enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage, or to bear pain or adversity without murmuring, depression or despondency. Fortitude is the basis or source of genuine courage or intrepidity in danger, of patience in suffering, of forbearance under injuries, and of magnanimity in all conditions of life. We sometimes confound the effect with the cause, and use fortitude as synonymous with courage or patience; but courage is an active virtue or vice, and patience is the effect of fortitude.
- (Why “fortitude“, when I don’t even see that word in scripture? Good question!! The Greek word #3115 means fortitude or longsuffering and is translated longsuffering or patience in the KJV.)
- MAGNANIM’ITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] [mag-nuh-nim-i-tee] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquility and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects. (I included this dfn. because it was so integral to the meaning of fortitude.)
- LONG’SUF’FERING, a. Bearing injuries or provocation for a long time; patient; not easily provoked.
- PATIENCE, n. pa’shens. [L. patientia, from patior, to suffer.] 1. The suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. Patience may spring from constitutional fortitude, from a kind of heroic pride, or from christian submission to the divine will. 2. A calm temper which bears evils without murmuring or discontent. 3. The act or quality of waiting long for justice or expected good without discontent. 4. Perseverance; constancy in labor or exertion. 5. The quality of bearing offenses and injuries without anger or revenge. (Included because the Greek word #3115 is translated as both longsuffering and patience.)
God is longsuffering. God bears injuries and provocations for a long time. God is patient and not easily provoked.
Because God has these great qualities, this is something that we can praise Him for!!
Not only is God longsuffering, patient and fortitudinous, He expects us to be the same.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Col. 3:12 KJV
That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Heb. 6:12 KJV
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Eph. 4:2 KJV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Gal. 5:22 KJV (This verse showing both that God is longsuffering and that He wants us to be.)
How longsuffering, patient and fortitudinous are you?
- Do you encounter danger with coolness and courage?
- Do you bear pain or adversity without murmuring, depression or despondency?
- Do you bear injuries or provocations for a long time?
- Do you have a calm temper which bears evils without murmuring or discontent?
We can be, because He is. If you are like me and find yourself lacking, then take this to prayer. God is a wonderful helper.
Perhaps you can see why fortitude is also one of my favorite words: http://www.cherylcope.com/two-of-my-favorite-words
What most impacted you about today’s post? Please let me know in the comment section below. Scroll down to almost the bottom and look for “leave a reply” or “leave a message”.
(c) 2013 Cheryl Cope
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