GOD PROMISES PATIENCE AND LOVE
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Psalms 103:8
In the last blog we started looking at the 4 character traits God promises to show us in His dealings with us. We saw He promised to always be compassionate and gracious to us. Now we’ll look at His promises to be patient and loving.
- SLOW TO ANGER
If you grew up in a household where anger was expressed inappropriately you may still live in fear of anger. It may be programmed into you that the authority figure in your life is angry, or can get angry at any time. Satan builds on this to whisper his lies that God is angry at you. That’s why you struggle and have problems in life. He may even go so far as to say you never had salvation or, if you did, God in His anger took it back. But God promises He is slow to anger.
As His children, we know we will never face His anger. Romans 8:1 promises that. He will and does show anger at sin, at those who harm others. His righteous indignation is real. Jesus expressed it twice when He chased the money changers out of the temple (John 2:13-16; Matthew 21:17-23). Even then, though, He is slow to show anger. He is patient, giving much time for unbelievers to turn to Him.
Satan rules through fear. Many of the world’s largest religions are based on fear. A parent may use fear to control a child, but that does not produce a secure, mature adult. God, our perfect Father, never uses fear to manipulate or punish us. if you think otherwise, you are believing a lie of Satan’s.
- ABOUNDING IN LOVE
Not only does God not get angry at us, but He overflows with love for us. That may be hard to believe and accept, it has been for me. It seems too good to be true. It’s not something we often experience in human relationships so to imagine it in our relationship with God can be difficult. Satan’s lies tell us we are guilty and full of shame. He tells us we are unlovable – no one has loved us and no one can really love us. He tells us we are rejected and no one could love us if they really knew us. If we don’t love ourselves it can be very difficult to believe someone else can love us, especially our perfect, all-knowing God.
God assures His love for us is unconditional ‘agape’ love. Since there are no conditions for us to meet there can be no way we can break them and disqualify for His love. Besides, He did the most for us before we were even born. Before we could do anything to deserve His love, He left heaven and came to earth to go to the cross for our eternal sin-debt. If He loved us that much when we didn’t know Him, how could He love us less now when we do desire to love and follow Him, even though we fail at it?
Satan doesn’t know what love is. He operates in the realm of hate and revenge. He tries to feed that same hate into us if we let him (John 8:44). When we believe his lies, we block God from working in us through His Holy Spirit (don’t grieve, Ephesian 4:30: don’t quench, 1 Thessalonians 5:19). The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) are gone so we don’t have His supernatural love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in us.
David committed adultery and murder, and Paul murdered Christian, but God had compassion on them both. He loved them and was gracious to them. He loves us and is gracious to us as well. Don’t let Satan tell you anything different!
Memorize Psalm 103:8. Have it handy in your mind and heart. You’ll refer to it often!
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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