I design my church’s worship gatherings to begin by focusing our attention on God. Before we ask God for anything, we thank God (for everything).
Most times, we’ll use a psalm to highlight some attribute of God. After that, we’ll sing to God’s glory about that attribute. We’ll also recognize it in prayer. Plus, it’s important to remember to thank God for being God and not only for what we get out of our walk with the Lord.
Today, let’s consider the patience of God. That’s not something we always take time to reflect on. God is patient. God is patient with us.
Withing the story of scripture, we see this on display.
Think of the first time humanity tests God’s patience. The Lord knew what the woman had done. God knew how Adam followed suit. That’s who we are. God gave them a chance to own up to their shortcomings. You and I tend to be more “act first and ask questions later.” That’s not the image we see in Genesis 3 of our Creator.
Now, there were consequences for their disobedience. The couple was expelled from the garden. Even then we see God’s patience, perhaps expressed in graciousness. “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). When we lose our patience with someone we don’t feel like serving them!
But you can find many more instances where God’s patience endured. Of course, that doesn’t mean God does not execute justice or bring punishment. I don’t know how to determine where the line is for exhausting God’s patience. Is it situational? Does it depend upon who needs it?
It seems fair to suggest, though, there is a line.
Besides God demonstrating patience with each of us, there is also a strong sense that God’s patience is an important aspect of his universal will. 2 Peter 3 says to “regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.” That comes after Peter has spoken about the coming of the day of God. New heavens and new earth await us. So, our response is to “strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish.”
Why is God so patient? It seems that’s the best way to ensure more people grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus. See? God’s patience has more to do with than just you!
But God’s patience is our blessing, too. We grow in grace. Every Bible study, every sermon, every daily devotional can be a way you are doing that. That makes each one all the more meaningful. You don’t know how one might impact your walk with God, but they can. And they will.
When they do you realize God has been patiently waiting for you to learn that lesson. Thank God.