Aspects of God’s Grace – Patience

Oct 19

Aspects of God’s Grace – Patience

What is God’s grace? This is a question I’ve asked myself and I’ve seen asked over the past few weeks. We talk about “receiving God’s grace” and “asking for God’s grace”, but what does that really mean? It turns out it means a lot more that I thought. Explore with me over the next few weeks the definitions and explanations of God’s grace.

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God has such patience. He has more patience for us that I will ever have. In my humanness, I am so quick to fly off the handle, to get angry, to give up on someone, to never give that second or third chance. But God has patience in abundance.

Patience is one of God’s main characteristics. He’s called the longsuffering one, the kind and loving one, the forgiving one. Examples of this are throughout the Bible, including the Old Testament.

God waited years before telling Noah to build the ark. He wanted to give people time to repent and come to him. He extends that same grace and patience with us today. Exodus 34:6 shows that his longsuffering is proof of His desire to grant salvation and have a relationship with us.

The Old Testament is a revelation of God’s patience and mercy – all aspects of His grace.

Romans 2:4 describes God as forbearing. This means refraining from enforcing something that is due, such as a debt or obligation. God has the right to collect our debt, but instead of requiring us to pay that debt, Jesus did. God looks at His elect through the blood of Jesus. For those not yet saved, he continues to be patient and loving, giving everyone time to come to him.

God’s patience with us helps to contrast our sin and His forgiveness. In seeing and recognizing the contrast, we are able to come to repentance. If this didn’t happen – if God punished everyone at the first sign of our sin – we would not have a chance to build character. Think about David. It was God’s patience with David that led him to repent of his sins and write Psalm 51 – Create in me a clean heart.  It’s God’s patience – his grace – that gives us the time to repent and change.

In my own life, it was the divorce that led me to repentance. God was stern with me, but he was still kind and loving. There was no judgement from him. All the judgement was from me. God was just there, holding me, and telling me it would be okay and now we could start over. I couldn’t start over – alone or with a reconciliation – until I had confessed my sin, my responsibility for the divorce. It was that contrast that helped me realize what I really wanted in life.

We know Biblically that God’s patience will eventually be exhausted, just like in Noah’s time and with the Israelites. We’ve seen those judgements throughout the Bible. When His patience is exhausted, the judgement will come. But until that day, God provides the Holy Spirit to help us overcome problems, to shed light on our sins, and give us peace. He’s kind and loving, patient and good, giving everyone a chance to come to him, because he wants all of us to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).

Would you like to share your story of God’s patience with you? Share in the comments or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

 

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