Our Pattern for Patience

The pattern for patience is our Lord. He is our peerless example. Peter said “The Lord is not slack concerning His promises, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3: 9).

In that verse is found the answer to some of life’s greatest mysteries, such as, why does God allow war, sickness, prejudice, hate, and evil in general?

Three things need to be considered in answering that.

1.  God has given us a free will, and within that free will exists all of man’s inhumanity to man and the by-products of disease and deformity. He created a perfect world. Man’s sin perverted His perfection.

2.  God is “longsuffering” and He wants to give persons every possible opportunity to respond positively to His grace.

3.  Were God to step in and put a stop to all that is wrong in the world none of us would be left. None of us would escape divine judgment and the wrath to come.  None!

Therefore, man having messed up God’s perfect world, God is long suffering with us in order for us to have every opportunity to respond favorably to His love.

God’s long suffering with us is directly related to His redemptive plan. He doesn’t want any to perish.  None!

If Jesus had not been long suffering with the impatient and  impetuous Peter he would never have made it into the kingdom.

If Jesus had not been longsuffering with doubting Thomas he never would have overcome his skepticism and entered the kingdom.

If Jesus had not been long suffering with the hypocritically pious Paul he never would have gained heaven.

Paul acknowledged this when he wrote, “For this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all long suffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life” (I Timothy 1: 16).

If Christ were not long suffering with you and me… You fill in the blank.

He is our Pattern. That means we are to pattern Him in relating to our peers. Oh, no, this is where it gets personal. This explains how we are to relate to our friends who are inconsistent, incompetent, and inefficient. This harvest of the Spirit is for the benefit of the failures and the weak — like us. We are to be longsuffering because our Lord is. Like our Pattern we are to go on exercising longsuffering.