Fruitful 5: Forbearance

We need the Spirit's help to keep going when people are against us. But what does this forbearance look like in practice?

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Video notes

  • Forbearance is part of God’s unchanging nature
  • Also the reason the second coming has not taken place yet (2 Peter 3:9)
  • Forbearance can mean being calm while waiting for something (e.g. Hebrews 6:12)
  • Meaning more relevant here is bearing up under provocation (see description of Jesus in 1 Peter 2:20-25)
  • For us it means keeping going even when people are against us
  • We must not confuse this with coercive or ungodly leadership. There are times when we must hear criticism and act upon it.
  • But if opposition is unjust, we bear with those who seem opposed and remain calm
  • Closely linked to idea of perseverance

Questions to think about

  1. Think of people or situations in the church or in ministry that frustrate you? Why? How will exercising the Spirit’s forbearance make a difference to these particular situations?
  2. What sins must you confess and ask the Spirit to deal with that challenge forbearance? For example, anger or bitterness.
  3. What processes do you have in place to make sure you do not use the ‘excuse’ of forbearance for failing to deal with your own sins?

Prayer ideas

  • Rejoice in the Lord’s forbearance with you!
  • Pray for people and situations by name that you find draining and where you need the Spirit’s help.
  • Ask for discernment that you might better recognise sinful behaviour in your leadership and address sins that make forbearance difficult.

Further passages to reflect on

1 Peter 2:20-25

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