I am finishing up on an assignment that GOD placed in my heart. I’m re-reading my book to catch errors and crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s.
Like in each assignment GOD gives me, I am being taught as I serve my KING. Through this assignment, I have grown to love the KING- my Lover even more. For as I related things from my life, stuff about me through the years came out into the open… stuff like inconsistencies- a lie or half-truth here, an exaggeration there, grumbling, complaining and even blaming another when as I look back- it was my choice. These little things, which I had been blind to until now, were glaring at me in my face and I was exposed. This gave me a glimpse of the immensity of GOD’s gentle patience -maybe longsuffering would be a better word- in dealing with me.
So have come to appreciate JESUS’ patience, HIS gentleness and HIS longsuffering. When those had been directed to my erring husband, it irritated me so much, but now that I saw I needed them, those qualities seem most precious. In this light, verses concerning GOD’s patience, gentleness and even longsuffering take on more meaning and delays – like when GOD will fulfill certain promises to me- make more sense.
“Do you show contempt for the riches of HIS kindness, forbearance and patience; not realizing that GOD’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4). That is exactly what happened. Here I thought GOD was working in the other person, and HE was, but HE was also working in me. God’s patience and kindness and longsuffering led me to repent and change.
“GOD waited patiently in the days of Noah when the ark was being built” (1 Peter 3:20). Noah preach for 120 years. But how many got on the ark? Only eight. But, not one of those that perished in the flood will be able to say they were not warned!
“The LORD is not slow in keeping HIS promises, as some understand slowness. HE is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Yes, this speaks of coming to a saving knowledge of JESUS CHRIST. But, I believe it also applies to believers as they grow in their knowledge of GOD our FATHER and the LORD JESUS CHRIST.
As I ponder GOD’s ways and instructions (2 Timothy 2:23-26), I feel a growing ache for the lost- especially for drug addicts. I understand more why HE tells us: “let your gentleness be evident to all” (Philippians 4:5). The awareness that my actions-if gentle- opens the door to JESUS for the hurting, the lost to hear HIS voice (John 10:3) and lets GOD touch them through me with HIS gentle patience and love, has me put aside thoughts of anger at their actions. Oh, I tell them the truth. But, I tell them gently and with love.
Today as wanted to finish up writing this, I had an errand that I had to run. Thoughts of irritation over another interruption shot into my mind (a fiery dart of the evil one- Ephesians 6:16); it was followed by a Bible verse “give thanks in all things for this is God’s will for you in CHRIST JESUS” (I Thessalonians 5:18). I chose the verse. When I began to give thanks, my thoughts began to fill and overflowed with wonderful things my LORD had done and is doing. Things to thank GOD for. During the errand, things went wrong, but reasons to thank GOD continued to flow into my mind (Proverbs 21:1). My GOD, my KING, my LOVER is always with me and knows what HE is doing. HIS love corrects me, because sin destroys and HE only wants to bless me. When I do things HIS way, there is peace and joy that guards and protects my mind and my heart (Philippians 4:6-7).
GOD says, “I don’t want your sacrifices- I want your love; I don’t want your offerings- I want you to know ME” (Hosea 6:6 TLB). Now, by seeing how patient HE has been with me, I feel I know HIM a little better and love HIM even more!
Looking unto JESUS the Author and Perfecter of my faith,