I encourage you to understand loves patience
In a world of such intolerance towards truth, you could be forgiven for losing sight of loves patience. By contrast, believers in Christ are to keep “in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation” (2 Peter 3:15 NIV). Our testimony of God is one of loving-kindness which stretched out over our lives to bring us to His Son Jesus Christ.
Sadly, impatience is so engrained in society’s attitudes and thinking that it has become indistinguishable to many. Put simply; we want what we want, and we want it now. From childish and impulsive appetites which seem harmless, to committing the worst of greed, crime and destructive behaviour, loveless impatience takes its toll on us as it plays out through our lives.
God’s Word shows the inexplicable connection between love and patience, one which demands that we always associate one with the other. Likewise, when we disconnect the two, we violate a divine imperative, opening our hearts to all kinds of wrong attitudes and behaviours.
It’s as Jesus explained in the parable of the seed which fell on “the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). Authentic faith has a long term view of living the truth of God’s Word with endurance. It does not give up regardless of obstacles or discouragements. Why, because it’s empowered by and motivated by Christ’s love (2Co 5:14).
You see, patience motivated by self-sacrificing love allows the time needed for God to soften our hearts while manoeuvring the events and circumstances in our lives to accomplish His will in His timing. Patience permits time for us to examine our heart’s, to check out God’s Word, and to pray. Loves inspiration stretches Christ’s grace in our thoughts and emotions which reduces the human tendency to act rashly or wrongly.
Love that Loves
Christian love which emulates God’s love is not selective or conditional upon fleshly requirements being met. No, personal preferences are put aside giving evidence that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience…” (Galatians 5:22). For the most part, loves character is not reactionary, it does not lash out, nor does it retaliate because it feels justified in hurting another. Self-preservation is tempered, being redirected by patience which looks for the way to do what is necessary without attacking or damaging others. Vindication is low on loves list of priorities because it’s ‘agape’ by nature and energised by the Holy Spirit.
Loving patience goes the extra mile, without any reason other than Christ. Paul instructed the Ephesian Church to walk “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:1-2). Patience applies the tenderness of love to relationships which we would normally have a short fuse with. Personal expectations of others are dissolved by the purposes of love which always works for the betterment of others in the hope of Christ winning the glory.
Loves patience can powerfully trigger our willing self-examination, because we realise our enormous capacity for being wrong. Our hearts can be so easily influenced by our past, our heritage, our experiences, but most of all by our desires. And human desires usually lead us away from truth and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today, I encourage you to understand loves patience. Recognise the Lord’s loving patience with you, thank Him, and seek opportunities to pass it on to others. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalms 139:23-24 NIV).
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz