2000-08-28 - Patience
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
When we think about patience we often reflect on our need for more patience as we interact with friends, family, and other drivers on the road. It is common to think of patience in this manner because many of us struggle with losing our patience. We need to learn patience, of course, but how do we learn to be patient? When almost no one around us models patience, where can we see it in action?
One great example of patience is found when we look at the character of God. God is very patient. So patient is God that as the verse in Luke we began with says, "He is kind to ungrateful and evil men." God is still kind to those who never say, "thank you," for His kindness. His still shows mercy to those who will never recognize that all the blessings they receive are from God.
God is patient with His creatures. Scripture says that He is long-suffering in His patience. And there is a reason why He is long-suffering. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us, "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is long-suffering toward you, not wishing for any to parish but for all to come to repentance." One reason why God is patient with sinners is because His mercies are designed to lead sinners to repentance.
When we hear of some vicious crime committed by someone against another, we are prone to wonder why God does not execute His wrath against such injustice. He is often patient with the offender of His truth. Such reflection should remind us to reflect on how patient God has been with us. Why has God remained patient with us? Why has God continued to be merciful to us? He has been patient with us, and many of us have come to repentance. Many of us are living example of the truth of the above quoted verse, 2 Peter 3:9.
If we learn patience by knowing and experiencing God's patience with us, we will begin to understand what patience looks like. This may go far in teaching us patience. It is not easy to become a patient person. It will take time, prayer, and a lot of effort. One great way to begin the task of learning patience is to reflect on and study the patience of God toward sinners. In so doing we may begin to travel the long road of becoming patient people.
"A Christian without patience is like a soldier without arms...Patience makes a Christian invincible." Thomas Watson
Soli Deo Gloria,