The Patience of God:
The patience of God is linked with His mercy. When you think of the patience of God, one must simultaneously think of His mercy as well. The puritan Stephen Charnock once wrote that, “God’s slowness to anger is a branch from His mercy. ‘The Lord is full of compassion, slow to anger’ – Psalm 145:8”. Charnock also comments that “the patience of God differs from His mercy when you consider the object (such as us humans). Mercy respects the creature as miserable, patience respects the creature as criminal; mercy pities him in his misery, and patience bears with the sin which brought forth the misery”. In other words, God’s mercy ends wholly upon us as humans while His patience/longsuffering is an expression of His character. His patience and love towards us causes Him to sustain great injuries without immediately avenging Himself. Think of the many times the Israelites tempted God in the wilderness or how God endured with much patience the sin of our own souls before we came to Christ for salvation. All sin under heaven is against God and His creation (Psalm 51:4, Romans 8:22). Let us review our own lives and be thankful that He is a God of such great patience and mercy to us.
“There is no love of God without patience, and no patience without humbleness and sweetness of spirit.” ~ John Wesley
Psalm 86:15 “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”
Romans 9:22 “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction…”
Romans 2:4 “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, if you are aware of your fleshly struggles or thoughts of sin as a believer, just know that you are not alone. If you are human you will struggle with sin while here on this earth. Be reminded of God’s patience towards you and how He is longsuffering with the sins He died to save you from and desires you to repent of. Don’t ever lose sight of who He is. He is a loving and patient God, who is not willing that any perish but that all come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Let us as born-again believers in Christ seek to emulate His attribute of patience with all those around us. If a sinner sins against you, don’t take immediate revenge, but think about how patient God is towards that person. God bears long with the wicked and we should too. Let us be thankful people and let us always strive not to live in sin, but to glorify our patient and merciful God with all of our members.
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