by Dr. Charles Stanley
Tuesday November 23, 2004
The Patience of God
2 Peter 3:3-9
More than likely, you heard the Gospel several times before you trusted Jesus as your Savior. Sometimes even though we know the truth, we decide to continue with our life as it is. Why does God tolerate this deliberate sin?
Patience is an attribute of God - it is His goodness in withholding punishment from those involved in long-term sin. He has a motivation and purpose for His patience. God places a high value on us as His created beings. He waits patiently because He desires to see each of us come to a saving knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ. That is His primary purpose.
God's secondary reasons for being patient apply to us as believers. He understands our innate carnality and the sinful tendencies that result from it. He also recognizes our weakness and immaturity in the Christian life. We have much to learn once we are saved, and God does not expect us to know everything at once.
We can, however, abuse the patience of God by misinterpreting it. (Psalm 50:21) Have you ever done something you knew was wrong? Sometimes when nothing happens as a result of a particular sin, we think God has overlooked it. We may decide to continue in that behavior, which further abuses the Lord's patience. But God is very clear that He will not strive with us forever. (Psalm 103:9) In other words, we cannot continue in disobedience consequence-free. Is God convicting you of a sin that you are ignoring? Repent according to His call, and thank Him for His patience with you.
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