1 Timothy 1:15-16
When you were a kid did your parents ever tell you be patient? Probably was in the context of waiting for something, maybe waiting in line or waiting patiently for a gift you were to receive. They were telling you not to get restless, not to get angry, but just to sit there and wait.
When the Bible uses that word patience, it does use it in that context of waiting, but also in another context. That of being slow to anger or long-suffering. What do those things mean? Really means that God is telling us not to lash out even when an injustice happens to us. And how difficult that can be to show that sort of patience even though we know the person rightfully deserves our wrath and anger.
God has been incredibly patient with us. We think about an example of this with the apostle Paul. One who formerly hated God and hated his church and did everything he could to destroy it. Seemed like God would be perfectly in his right to appear to him and to strike him dead. What does God do instead? With the Apostle Paul he shows patience. He does appear to him to reveal to him the truth that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead that he is truly the Son of God and his Savior. And he brings to Paul saving faith and in fact instructs him to now go and be his missionary.
Reflecting on all of this the apostle Paul writes in 1 Timothy chapter 1 verse 15 and 16.
The saying is trustworthy and worthy of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But I was shown mercy for this reason: that in me the worst sinner Christ Jesus might demonstrate his unlimited patience as an example for those who are going to believe in him resulting in eternal life. (1 Timothy 1:15-16)
Says that God showed unlimited patience with the apostle Paul. He has certainly done the same thing for us. He has not given us what our sins deserve. He has been slow to anger and long-suffering, what a reason then for us to be patient with one another. To also not lash out immediately but to endure, to wait to be long-suffering to also hope that they come to the knowledge of the truth that we know in Jesus Christ our Lord. The one who has been incredibly patient with us. Amen.