Patience

Day 294

Prayer for the day

Show me your ways, O LORD, and teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long.

Scripture for the day

Isaiah 62-64, 1 Timothy 1

It’s the one thing you don’t really want to pray for because you know it’ll be tested: patience. I can’t count the number of times I’ve prayed for God to give me the patience to deal with something, only to realize that in dealing with this thing, I’ve been learning (sometimes!) patience.

Paul, in his first letter to Timothy, claims that God saved him, the worst of sinners, in order to demonstrate God’s unbelievable patience. Not only does God love His creation, He loves it so much that He is willing to wait for it. He loves His creation so much that He does not simply destroy wicked; He waits for the wicked to respond to His incredible grace. To Paul, this patience is the perfect character of God. It is almost incomprehensible that God would be gracious enough to wait for the wicked, yet Paul says he is living proof of this patience.

Isaiah regularly points to the patience of God in dealing with the people of Israel. Interestingly, when they are crying out to God and asking how long they will be oppressed, they are missing the fact that God’s patience, the fact that God does not come immediately is also their salvation. God is not only patient through the good times, but through the bad times as well. They may not see immediate salvation, but wonderfully, they do not see immediate annihilation, which is the very real and appropriate punishment for their (and our) significant disobedience.

Thanks be to God that He is the patient God, the one willing to wait for His creation, seeking and saving those who are in an incredible hurry to be destroyed.

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