Monday, September 26, 2016

Thank God for His Patience

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

That God is seemingly slow to react to sin puzzles some Christ followers. Why doesn’t He just zap sinners, get rid of them, destroy them and their kind? The simple answer is that God is patient, unlike most of us! [2 Peter 3:9]

In our fallenness, we humans prefer that people suffer for their wrongdoing. Jonah comes to mind here. He ran as far away from the Lord as he could because he thought the undeserving Ninevites might actually repent, saving themselves from destruction. And then, instead of rejoicing over their salvation, he complained about God treating the Ninevites with patience [see Jonah 4:2].

Jonah benefitted from the Lord’s patience too. God didn’t snuff him out for his disobedience, had he forgotten that? Sure, he was disciplined, but it could have been worse — although I’m sure it was very unpleasant to be swallowed up and then regurgitated by a fish!

We have every reason to be thankful that the Lord, unlike humans, is slow to anger. When we are stubborn and unrepentant, He waits patiently for us to return, to respond to conviction. And while discipline can be painful, God wants us to see the error of our choices, stop thinking that we are getting away with sin, and return to a righteous path. 

Since we know that God’s justice demands a penalty for sin, let’s be more proactive. Why wait for discipline? Instead, let’s do what’s right, and incline our hearts toward the Lord.

“Now then,” Joshua said, “put away the foreign gods that are among you and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” Joshua 24:23

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