In this world, it is easy to be overcome by despair. It happens whether we look to our left and to our right.
It’s hard not to notice the desperate state we are in. Our families, our communities and our countries are being shaken.
Millions don’t have enough to eat each day. Earthquakes strike with increasing regularity. Natural disasters of all forms grip our physical world.
There is but one direction we can point our eyes and know that we will find hope… UP.
God’s hope overcomes despair. When our hopes are in Him we gain peace. No matter what happens in this world, we know it is not random.
Our world is not spinning out of control. It is in His control. This truth evades us when we look to the world around us. It is only evident when we fix our eyes on Jesus.
“…In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world,” – Jesus (John 16:33).
Long-suffering – Patiently enduring lasting offense.
The LORD highlighted this word in my heart this morning. Immediately evident to me was how I have generally lacked this trait.
I figured that was the reason He brought it up.
Then I understood and when I did, my heart was wrecked. Sure He wants me to demonstrate long-suffering in my relationships with others, but what hit me like a ton of bricks is His long-suffering towards me!
I committed offenses, MANY offenses, towards Him. Often I did so with forethought and complete disregard towards Him. Yet He was LONG-SUFFERING.
While He could have easily judged me He did not. In His great love He patiently endured my offense towards Him.
This fruit of His Spirit is just one of many amazing traits that are anything but human and therefore cannot be lived out in the flesh.
I spat in His face and He showed me kindness.
I wronged Him and yet He demonstrated goodness towards me. I proved faithless and yet He remained faithful. I was harsh in my words and yet He was gentle in His treatment of me.
Surely He is LONG-SUFFERING.
Don’t race by this simple and yet profound revelation or you are sure to miss it. Rather, allow your heart to meditate on His demonstration of long-suffering in His relationship with you.
Now you know why we are instructed not just to forgive, but to persistently forgive without end.
~ Mitch Salmon