24. The Patience of God

Romans 9:22

What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?

2000 years have passed by now since Jesus said that he would return in judgment and usher in his blessed Kingdom. What is taking God so long? Do you even think about that? Scripture reminds us that God is patient for our sake, to turn to him in repentance.

God is patient for a reason: If you are not in hell today, which you are not though you deserve to be, it is because God has been patient with you, and the purpose of his patience is to lead you to repentance. God’s patience is a great thing. But you must not abuse it. It is meant to do you good. The day of God’s patience is the day of his grace.

Think how patient God has been with you:

  • You have sinned against knowledge, and he has been exceedingly patient. You are not like many, who know nothing of God or his salvation. You live in a country where the Scriptures are known, the doctrines of the Bible are taught, the way of salvation is proclaimed, and the path of godliness is held up for all to see. But you have spurned that knowledge.
  • You may also have sinned against grace, and still, God has been patient. You may have been born into a godly home, belong to a godly church, have Christian friends who care for you, witness to you, and pray for you. But you have not profited from those gracious acts and circumstances.
  • You have even sinned against patience, and yet God has been exceedingly patient with you. You know that “love so amazing, so divine” demands your all. You have refused to give it, and still, God has been patient with you.

God will not be patient forever: Although God’s patience is great, it is not eternal. We are warned in Scripture that God’s wrath has been withheld by his patience, but one day it will be poured forth. God’s patience leads to repentance, but you must still repent. You must believe in Jesus. If you do not, you will face God’s judgment in the end, however much you may scoff at it now.

Because God is patient, we should be patient: We tend to be impatient with other people, especially with those we are trying to win to Christ. But God is patient, and we should be also. It is not easy to be patient, but we must. As we wait for his future promises to be fully accomplished, we must also be patient for his hand to act in the souls of those before us.

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