We should begin each day with a grateful prayer that God is patient.
How patient are you? Think about whatever annoys you most. Perhaps it is a yapping dog next door or a fussy baby at the next table in a restaurant. Maybe your nerves can’t stand the sound of loud music or large crowds.
Whenever one of these annoyances happens in your life, how long does it take for you to lose your cool? Do you move to another table, wear earplugs, stay home alone?
What if God were just as quick to let his righteous anger show? We deserve it. He says go right, and we zag left. He whispers for allegiance and offers a light hand. We turn stiff necks and deaf ears on Him.
We deserve to be thrown in the pit along with our Old Testament fellows, who defied God even when He gave them chance after chance to do what was right.
As Dr. Rubel Shelly explains in his upcoming book, More than a Fig Leaf, grace is not a concept that only comes along in the time of Christ. When you compare how God treats the people of the Old Testament to how they actually deserved to be treated, you see a God of infinite patience who always acts under a plan of grace.
What more blessing could we ask for than that our God rejoices over us? The Bible tells us:
The Lord your God is with you;
the mighty One will save you.
He will rejoice over you.
You will rest in his love;
he will sing and be joyful about you.
–Zephaniah 3:17 (NCV)
Bad things happen. In this world where the devil gets to play, the bad things happen more often than any of us would want. And, being a Christian doesn’t save us from any of the downs that dominate certain seasons of every life. In fact, Jesus reminds us, “He causes the sun to rise on good people and on evil people, and he sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong” (Matt. 5:45).
But, how comforting it is to realize that the bad things that happen when we are in Christ are not because of God’s impatience. Instead, we are able to survive the bad things because of God’s love for us.
If you are in the valley, remember the One who has promised to trek with you is there. Know His peace, and you will live in peace.