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“The God of Patience”
He who is our God is “the God of patience!” He is the one who effectually teaches us patience and works it in us by his grace. Patience is the fruit of the Spirit produced in chosen, redeemed, heaven-born sinners by his grace, by his Word, and by his providence. — “Tribulation worketh patience.”
Here our hearts and minds are directed to “the God of patience” that we might both rejoice in his goodness and imitate him. In all things our God is himself the pattern we must follow. Being the God of patience, he bears much and bears long with the children of men.
God’s Patience Experienced
How patient, forbearing, and longsuffering our God is and has been with us! The patient, longsuffering forbearance of God our Father is beautifully portrayed in The Parable of The Prodigal Son. As the father of the prodigal obviously had his servant constantly watching over his poor, rebel son all the days of his rebellion and patiently waited for is son’s return, our heavenly Father created his angels and sent them forth to watch over and care for our poor souls throughout the days of our rebellion (Hebrews 1:14), as he waited the appointed hour of our return to him.
The patient, longsuffering forbearance of God our Savior is manifest in the way he preserved us in the days of our rebellion (Jude 1). In our times of languishing, he patiently preserves and keeps us still. And when we are fallen, he patiently keeps his fallen ones and raises them up by his grace (Psalm 37:23-24).
We experience the patient, longsuffering forbearance of God our Comforter throughout our pilgrimage here. When we hardened our hearts before he called us to life and faith in Christ, he was even then, as from everlasting, our Sanctifier (1 Peter 1:2). Though often we harden our hearts, he is our Sanctifier still!
Truly, we must “account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation” (2 Peter 3:15). He waits to be gracious to his elect before conversion and after it bears with our infirmities, heals our backslidings, forgives our iniquities. He patiently hears our cries, relieves our burdens, and carries us (Isaiah 30:18-19; 46:3-4; 63:9).
Patience to Imitate
Is God patient with us? How patient we ought to imitate his patience and be patient with one another, patient with our brothers and sisters in Christ, patient with unbelievers and rebels, and patient with our enemies.
Is God patient with us? How patient his servants ought to be with those we serve! Over, and over again, in Holy Scripture God’s servants, gospel preachers are taught of God to be patient, patient in afflictions and in need (2 Corinthians 4:16) and patient with men, following “after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness” (1 Timothy 6:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; 1 Timothy 3:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:24-26).).
Patience before Him
Is God patient with us? How patient we ought to be before him! Wait patiently before his providence. Blessed Spirit of God, God of Patience, teach me patience! He it is upon whom and for whom we should patiently wait.