Summary: We must learn to regard God’s patience as salvation because it is exactly that. Without it we would be doomed to His wrath after our first failure or sin.
1. Kid quotes about God’s patience – It seems they understand Him better than most adults do.
a. "God waits until he gets his turn," says Savannah, age 5.
b. God has patience with us "by waiting in line," says Ashton, 5
c. "God has patience with me and everyone else because we all mess up a lot," says Gary, 10.
d. "God has patience with us because he is so, so, so very nice," says Christian, 7.
e. "If God didn’t have patience, we wouldn’t be here right now," says Peter, 10.
f. "God has patience with us because he is perfect," says Madeline, 11
g. "God has patience with us because he had to sit and watch his son die on the cross," says Trey, 11.
h. "He is waiting for us to believe in him," adds Elizabeth, 9.
2. Review and other thoughts:
a. Over the past two weeks we have looked at a characteristic of God that is often overlooked. It is His Patience.
i. Writer Arthur Pink said, “Far less has been written on the patience of God than on the other excellencies of divine character”
b. But what is the Patience of God?
i. The patience of God describes the power of God over Himself.
1. We define the divine patience as that power of control which God exercises over Himself, causing Him to bear with the wicked and put off his anger for a time.
2. Arthur Pink also wrote: “What but an Infinite Being could have borne with this revolted, ungodly race until now? The patience of all the created beings in heaven combined would long since have been exhausted had it been left to deal with sinful man’
ii. Last week we learned that the Greek word for Patience is Macrothumeo which is a conjunction of two separate words – macro (holding out long) and thumeo (anger) – combined to mean “to be holding out from anger for a long time.”
iii. Nahum 1:3 reads, "The LORD is slow to anger and great in power
iv. What an incredible combination of attributes!
3. Additional Characteristics of God’s patience:
a. God’s patience is most clearly distinguished from His mercy.
b. God’s mercy is aimed at mankind.
i. Mercy is not giving us what we deserve.
c. Even though you and I are the beneficiaries of His patience, God’s patience is aimed at Himself.
i. It is a restraint placed upon His acts by His will.
ii. He delays giving us what we deserve while He gives us an opportunity to respond to His love.
iii. The patience of God is that characteristic which causes Him to sustain injury without immediately avenging Himself.
1. God has the right, the power, the authority to punish every act of wrong doing.
2. Yet, He restrains Himself, bearing the injury upon Himself, being slow to anger and wrath.
d. Ultimately, God’s patience is his power of self-restraint.
e. Romans 9:22 we read, "What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
i. Do you see that comparison…although God is willing to show His wrath and make His power known…He ENDURES (bears the burden) with much patience the lives of people who are resistant to His grace?
1. It says that…God endures, God bears, God suffers, God puts up with our rejection of his grace, our rejection of who He is, our rejection of His love.
f. In fact in Romans 15:5 "The God of patience" is one of the divine titles of God.
a. God’s patience was exercised toward Israel.
i. First, He "suffered their behavior" for forty years in the wilderness (Acts 13:18).
ii. Later, they entered Canaan, but followed the evil customs of the nations around them, and turned to idolatry; though God disciplined them, He did not destroy them, but raised up Judges (deliverers) for them.
iii. When their sin rose to such a level that none but a God of infinite patience could have borne them, He, spared them for many years before He handed them over to the power of the Babylonians.
iv. Finally, when their rebellion against Him reached its climax by crucifying His Son, He waited forty years before He sent the Romans against them to destroy Jerusalem.
b. Think about how incredible God’s patience is with the world today.
i. On every side people are sinning openly and without regard to His holiness. Man lives as if God does not exist.
ii. The divine law is trampled under foot and God Himself openly cursed and banished from public life – and if you think America is bad, go to Europe or Canada.
iii. It is truly amazing that He does not instantly strike down all who defy Him.