The ABC’s of Lent | Long Suffering | 2 Peter 3.9 |

by | Mar 19, 2020

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3.9

“And rend your heart and not your garments ” Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil“ Joel 2.13

“But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.” Psalm 86.15

Long suffering. It’s just another word for patience. Something I wish I had a little more of. (Just as I began writing this I inadvertently knocked my coffee off the table next to me — my response proved my lack of patience!)

But aren’t we glad that there is One who has patience? One who long suffers on our behalf? We have a God who as Peter tells us is “patient toward you…wishing non to perish.” The prophet Joel and the psalmist tells us that we have a god who is “slow to anger…abounding in loving kindness and truth.”

Patience has never been my strong suit. But it is with God. He who is “gracious and compassionate” is “not slow in keeping his promises.” He is long suffering toward us — patient in all his ways. Even when his people disobey, turn away and sin against the Lord, he is slow to anger and abounding in love. (Although sin does have a consequence no doubt.)

Today we talk about long-suffering. It’s the “L” in our ABC’s of Lent. It’s a spiritual practice many of us need to master. A time when most of us are self-isolating, social distancing, trying to prevent the spread of a global pandemic that’s eerily creeping it’s way across the earth. We, like Max Lucado who said on Instagram, should “feed our faith and not our fear.” We who are put to the test need to learn long-suffering.

Even when many are feeling low, down and depressed, we trust God. We cling to him. We learn from him. We pray for his patience not only for ourselves but in how we react and respond to others. Long-suffering — it’s a part of our journey toward the cross. Will you travel it with me today?

“Lord, if anyone has reason to be impatient with humanity it is you! We have turned way, not loved you with our whole heart, clung to sin and ignored your grace. But you are patient. You are slow to anger and you abound in love. Thank you for loving us when we don’t deserve it. Thank you for shaping us to become like Jesus whose long suffering helped him endure the cross for our sake. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill us with our power and love. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen