“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
– 2 Peter 3:9
One of my favorite characteristics of God is that He is long-suffering. At the time He sent the prophet Isaiah to Israel, the Jewish people had gone off the rails in terms of bad behavior. Though the temple had been built full of symbolism to show that the Garden of Eden was being remade in their midst as they pursued righteousness and goodness, the Israelites toppled far from this standard and decided to worship Baal, who was a Satanic god. They even became so corrupt as to offer child sacrifices to pagan idols, and although their Lord’s hallmark was compassion and mercy, they turned their backs on widows, orphans, and the most vulnerable in their communities. When Jehovah finally had enough of their deviant behavior, He commissioned the prophet Isaiah, who was a lone voice crying out in the midst of wickedness on the part of the Jewish people and their leaders. Yet even this was an act of compassion and mercy by God, for although His messenger brought news of judgement, he also spoke of hope.
Friend, your Lord is full of grace and goodness, and He wants you to be set free from the destructive grip of sin. It doesn’t matter how far you feel you’ve fallen, He is always willing to give you another chance; however, it’s important to heed His voice when He speaks to you, both directly and through others. Never ignore the promptings of His Spirit within or the gentle warnings He brings from without; both are revelations of His long-suffering compassion and are intended to set you free. You can never fall so far that He is unwilling to lift you up and turn you around, because He is the God of innumerable chances and your very best life is His passion!
Jesus, I receive your long-suffering and compassion today.
How is God speaking to you right now about an area of struggle in your life? Who has He used to get your attention?