The Patience of God 

You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
—PSALM 86:15

We sometimes think of the God of the Old Testament as a God of anger who was constantly bringing judgment on people. In truth, the God revealed in both the Old and New Testaments has two distinct characteristics: justice and love.

God's justice is often described by the Hebrew word for holy. The word literally means "set apart." God alone is set apart to execute justice. But the second essential characteristic of God's nature is love, and one way he expresses his love is through patience.

The Hebrew word for "patient" is arek, meaning "long," as in "long (or slow) to anger." Jeremiah the prophet described God as "long-suffering," or patient (Jeremiah 15:15). And through Isaiah, God said to his rebellious people, "For my own name's sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to cut you off " (Isaiah 48:9).

When we are patient with others, even in small ways, we are reflecting the character of a loving God.

Thought

Mentally review the history of God's patience with you. Thank him for his patient love.

Dr. Gary Chapman is the beloved best-selling author of The Five Love Languages and Love as a Way of Life. For more information, click here.