4 Love suffers long.
1 Corinthians 13:4
God’s patience or long suffering is the answer to our fear of coming short of God’s love.
The Greek word for “long suffering” is makrothymeō which means “to have a long spirit, to not lose heart, slow to punish” (Strong’s G3114). It is a compound word (makros meaning “of long duration” and thumos meaning “anger”) that describes God’s abiding and continuing love towards us.
This divinely inspired representation of God’s love contradicts the popular and harmful thinking that God’s flaring anger or wrath overtakes people without warning. This wrong thinking does not reflect God’s merciful character and makes Him appear more harsh than He truly is. Such lowly view of God can destroy your faith and trust in Him.
If God had to use threatened or real acts of calamities, destruction and personal tragedies to bring you into repentance, then Christ’s work on the cross is not complete or finished and is insufficient to remove our sin. It would also mean that God’s love is not as real or as good as we were told!
Consider these words of the Apostle Peter:
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9
A healthy perception of God will “detoxify” your mind from guilt, shame and personal condemnation. When people suffer from an unhealthy view of God, they are burdened by an unwholesome fear of God which they shouldn’t have in the first place. God endures long and is incredibly patient and kind towards us, not because He is weak but love is the very essence and nature of God (1 John 4:8).
The Apostle Paul tells us not to interpret God’s generous patience as a weakness on His part (cf. Romans 2:4) but a trait of God’s goodness, forbearance and long suffering. It is because God’s love is long suffering which brings us to repentance.
God’s long suffering in loving you empowers you to live freely without fear — no fear of condemnation, rejection or making mistakes in living your fullest life for Him.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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