"The Lord passed in front of him and proclaimed: The Lord, The Lord! A God who is compassionate and merciful, very patient, full of great loyalty and faithfulness..."
Dear friends, after a little break we are continuing the series on God's character traits. We have already come to know God as Love, Faithful and Good, so let us discover Him today from another perspective: God is patient! He doesn't just show us patience, He Himself is Patience.
Do you want to have a proof? God's Word says "God is love" (1 John 4:16) and also that love is patient (1 Corinthians 13:4). It is like the formula, we have learned at school in math: if A = B and B = C, then A = C, meaning God = patience. God introduced Himself to Moses as Patience, as our main verse shows. Why is it important to have a revelation of God's Patience? Simply because that will liberate us. This leads to a relaxed relationship with Him and releases us from that burden which is the fear of making mistakes. Since we humans were never world champions in patience, we try to compare God's Patience with ours: We already lose patience with our children, when they ask us the same questions 5 times in a row (God, help the parents!) or we would like to knock out that unpleasant colleague who is getting on our nerves again :D (Jesus, help me!). Fortunately, God is not like us! He never loses patience with us even if we are making the same stupid mistakes, doubt Him, or falsely accuse Him of being the cause for our problems: He patiently waits for us. Another word used in the Bible that better expresses God's patience is longsuffering, a combination of "long" + "suffering". That literally means God waits (suffers!) a very long time for us (isn't that great?). Friends, God isn't patient because we deserve it, but it's Who He is, His nature!
Also, God's Patience is necessary for our salvation. Apostle Peter clearly stated this in 2 Peter 3:15, "And remember, our Lord's patience gives people time to be saved...", and Peter further assures us that the Lord is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3: 9). If God wasn't patient, you and I would be done , believe me! But because He is patient, we are saved - Hallelujah! Apostle Paul highlighted the importance of God's patience in our salvation in 1 Timothy 1:16: "But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe and receive eternal life".
God has patiently waited for us (for those who already choose Christ as their Lord) and He is still patiently waiting for those who haven't been saved yet. That’s what compels us to share His love with everyone who crosses our path. Not just family, friends, neighbors & colleagues but also anyone, who steps in and out of our lives for a fleeting moment. How do we do that? Not by preaching or the like, but by showing patience: patiently waiting for the doctor instead of whining, smiling at the slow-working office lady instead of stewing, quietly taking our place in line @ the supermarket or letting someone in need go ahead of us.
Patience is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5.22); God works in us through His patience so that we can reach those who are lost (and who often don't know it). When we are patient in an impatient world, we show people, the one who is patient with us: God.