“The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression.”
“She must have the patience of Job.”
It’s a common phrase derived from James 5:10–11 that refers to the seemingly endless perseverance of Job, who waited faithfully for God to turn his suffering into blessing. While Job’s patience is commendable, this popular idiom perhaps tempts us to miss out on an even greater example of longsuffering: God Himself.
It’s easy to forget that God is patient with us every single day! When God asks us to show His patient love to others, He is not asking us to do anything that He does not do Himself.
- God is patient with us even when we make mistakes.
- God is patient with us even when we aren’t patient with others.
- God is patient with us even when we aren’t living our best lives.
- God is patient with us even when we go astray from Him.
- God is patient with us even when we are mad at Him.
- God is patient with us even when we don’t trust Him.
- God is patient with us even when we throw temper tantrums.
- God is patient with us even when we don’t spend time with Him.
- God is patient with us even when we have wronged Him.
Second Peter 3:9 reminds us, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” God is patient with you and me and everyone else every single day. His desire to be reconciled with us and to walk in intimacy with us outweighs His frustration with our choices. It outweighs His wrath.
After all, “we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin” (Heb. 4:15). God understands our struggle against the flesh and the enemy and extends to us the grace we need in order to walk in righteousness. He waits in eager expectation for us to call on Him and engage in relationship with Him because He loves us passionately and unconditionally. No matter what we have or haven’t done, will or won’t do, God will always be patient and act in love toward us.
Today I encourage you to show the patience of Job—and His loving heavenly Father—to the people in your life and praise God for the great love He always continues to give us.
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