Today, it would serve us well to slow down a bit, catch our breath from the weekend, and think upon the patience of God. We look at a world blanketed in unbelief, pulsing with immorality, boiling with outrage, and ringing with the noise of foolishness, so it is easy for us to acknowledge that God is very patient…with them, all those people out there. However, I must confess that there seems to be a lacking of sober recognition with how patient He is with us. Better yet, with you and me. Listen to what the Psalmist wrote long ago about the Lord’s dealings with His own people.
“Many times He delivered them, but they were rebellious in their purposes and were brought low through their iniquity. Nevertheless, He looked upon their distress, when He heard their cry. For their sake He remembered his covenant, and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love.” Psalm 106:43-45
Those who have been redeemed by God through His gracious provision of Jesus Christ have an unspeakable treasure. Vile offenders, guilty and condemned, were sought out by the One they had offended. They were subsequently forgiven, cleansed and given the position of beloved sons and daughters in His own forever-family. That standing is more solid than the deepest granite on earth, and it cannot not be diminished by the most minuscule fraction throughout the eternal ages to come. We have been made qualitatively new, as we are now one with God Himself through Jesus. Boggling the mind is the true testimony that we have the exact same equal acceptance with the Father as does His only begotten Son.
And we forget this…and forget Him…dozens of time each day.
Sisters, you forget God when you talk about other women with slicing words. Brothers, we forget God when we fail to live and lead as men of integrity. When Christian children resist their parents’ authority, they do so in amnesia of their Savior. Painful is the truth that we Christians can steal and curse and covet and lust and doubt and lie and fear and slander…add what you may to the list because, when we walk outside of the Holy Spirit, we can act as if we have never once knelt before the shadow of the cross. God help us, but we need to acknowledge that there is still the humbling possibility of deep rottenness in our bones. This is why the ongoing patience of God is crucial for us.
I am grateful today that God is patient with me. His patience with me is teaching me to be patient with you and all others. When you and I are brought low because of our failures, relapses, stubbornness and sins, we must cry to the God of all longsuffering, and reverently hold Him to His word to act deliberately with us in the midst of our struggles. We must remember that He always remembers His covenant with us through Christ; we cannot afford to despair of our standing before Him when we sin. His grace must always appear larger to us than our transgressions, for it is, in reality, immeasurably greater and will always be so. Go back and read the Psalmist’s words above and apply them to the area(s) of your struggle. Do not merely acknowledge that He is a patient God without also declaring that He is immeasurably patient with you. You are no different than I, and we are both made of the same stuff as the rebellious Israelites of old whom God responded to with “the abundance of His steadfast love”. This moves me to hate my own sin even more, and to rest further in yielded relief that my God has provided all that I need for my imperfections. He has determined to make us righteous, and this He will do through the relentless work of the Holy Spirit. His patience with us is not an allowance to indulge our weaknesses but, rather, to have hope of finding victory over them. In the consummation of the ages you will stand before the glory of the Lamb, reflecting back to Him the beauty of His own holiness. Father will have completed the deep process which He once began in you. He will smile in satisfaction on the work of His hands. You will rejoice in heavenly ecstasy and be more convinced than ever of His love, power.. and His patience.
Remember today that is where His patience is taking you. He will not come up short.