In the story of the prodigal son in Luke 5:11-32 we are told the story of a son who strayed away from his father after he gave him his share of his assets. The son left town and went off and spent all he was given. Then a severe famine struck and he was left with nothing. Eventually he had to shamefully return to his father. He was sure his father would write him off because of the things the son had done, but instead, to the son's amazement, "while he was a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him." (Luke 15:20) This story is meant to reflect to us the patience that Jesus has with us. He doesn't care what we've done in our past. He wants us with Him. Regardless of the "bad" things we think we've done the Lord will rejoice ALWAYS and throw his loving arms around us when we return to Him. Our God is a God of love, mercy, and PATIENCE, not a God of judgement.
The second thing I think it extremely important when understanding God's patience with us is that not only is His patience a foothold for our patience with others, His patience with us is like a great comforter. God is actually called "God of patience and consolation" (Romans 15:5) because he has such great patience with us. We must become like-minded and imitate Christ's example when our patience is tested.
God's patience is a fountain of comfort because it is proof of His grace.
Think about it like this: If God has patience with unbelievers, think how much patience He has for those who live their lives according to His will. If God were not patient, salvation would be impossible. God's promises, despite of our weaknesses, still hold true. THAT IS GRACE.
My challenge for y'all as we continue through this week is to imitate God's patience as we deal with other people. I know it is SO easy to get frustrated with other people, trust me, I work in a Kindergarten classroom with 17 five and six year olds, I know how easy it is to loose your patience, but we would be unlike Him if we were to loose patience with others. To be patient is to show yourself Christ-like and prove that you know Him!!
"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect"-Matthew 5:48