Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
It still amazes me that I avoided God for so long. Thirty years I ran from Him, sure I was going the right way in my life, certain that I had no need of Him. Of course, like anyone, I had good times and bad, but I never sought Him nor blamed Him for anything. To me, God was not necessary. I didn’t understand my need for His salvation. But once I did… Well, once I did, the wellsprings of His mercy rained down many blessings on my life. Because of His mercy and blessings, I now understand two things about God that I did not see before:
1) God is extraordinarily patient.
2) What God wants, He gets.
We all still have much to learn about God. Anyone who tells you he does not is a liar. God’s wisdom is a many-faceted jewel that looks different each time we turn it, yet it is always reflecting and refracting the same light – which is the light of Jesus. God tries many different things to teach us and guide us the way we should go, and when we rebel against His guidance, then we are rebelling against God Himself. The truly wonderful thing is this: God only teaches those whom He has called, and so if He is teaching you, then we wants You to come to Him.
44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
45 “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.”
God desires us to come to Him, and so His teaching and His Word has been sent into the world to bring us to His Son. And He is, as I said before, terribly patient with us. He is willing to pursue us for as long as it takes, through good times and bad, through lifetimes of joy and pain, through all our wickedness and rebellion, through our denials of Him, and right to the end of our heartfelt pleas for His mercy. In all that time He tries to guide us, tries to allow blessings into our lives, and yet we refuse Him! We fight and seek what WE want, what WE desire, never realizing that He only desires what is best for us – our salvation through Christ Jesus.
Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the LORD is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him.
“Be still,” God spoke through the Psalmist, “and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Listen to God’s words, His teaching. Be aware of the forbearance He is showing us, and of how He suffers long with our rebellion and denial. Know His goodness and acknowledge it. Let us allow His goodness, His mercy, His grace to lead us all to repentance.
Brothers and sisters, be moved to listen to His teachings every day. Seek God and He shall be found by you! And then with the Psalmist we can joyfully say:
5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
Yes, our God is merciful.
6 The LORD preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.
7 Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
Praise the Lord!
Gracious Father, Almighty God, I will join the Psalmist in giving you my thanks and my praise. I will call upon You and no longer refuse You. I will seek Your teachings in Your Word and through Your Holy Spirit that dwells inside me. Lead me, Lord God, in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Amen.