What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory (Romans 9:22-23)
Just because we see sinful people prosper doesn’t mean that God has looked away from their sinfulness. We are told not to envy wicked people in their prosperity, for that prosperity will lead to their ruin. Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong (Psalm 37:1) The scripture above tells us about God and the great patience He shows toward the “objects of His wrath.” It then ask us to consider what purpose He has in showing them patience. He looks to show His children the “riches of His glory.” What could that mean? The Hebrew word for glory originally means “weight” or “heaviness.” The same word is then used to express importance, honor, and majesty. Take a moment and consider that definition in this context.
How many people that the world views as prosperous are dead and empty on the inside? They have sought and gained the best the world has to offer at the expense of their peace and are now left with nothing to fill the void in their heart. Our sovereign Father gives us the opportunity to see what gaining the world and losing your soul looks like in the flesh. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? (Matthew 16:26) These people who have chosen to ignore God are without the most fulfilling thing available to us, a relationship with the Father.
As the “objects of His mercy” we can live with the joy of knowing the riches of His glory. We know that the presence and provision found in relationship to God outweigh the lesser things of this world. God’s provision is designed for us by our Creator, not our sinful desire. Believers can live with the peace of knowing God and the assurance that we have more than enough to walk the path He has called us to. Gaining more might drive us into worldly assurance. God loves us too much to let us wonder from what is best for us. We can let His light guide us on our walk with Jesus and be an example to those God has “prepared for destruction.” God desires that none shall parish.
Let God’s glory shine through you. You might be the reason His patience benefits someone who is looking to fill the place in their heart where God is meant to dwell. Let others know what it means to see the riches of God’s glory and what it is to grow in His mercy. Show the world that God’s great power can also be shown in the grace and mercy of His patience toward all of us.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
Our faith identifies Jesus as the Christ, our Savior. He was also the Son of the Heavenly Father. Believers are identified as God’s children who are adopted into His promised inheritance of eternal life with Him. The triune God used this structure to give us a better understanding of Him in His infinitude. As we identify Jesus as the Son of the Father and we also are children of God, we can see Jesus as not only Lord, but a big brother. A big brother who showed us how to be instructed by and walk in submission to our Father. Our big brother was ‘first in inheritance’ and leads us by His example. We see how our Father leads our brother and we do our best to follow His example. God represented Himself in flesh through the Son. He showed us what a sinless nature guided by, and reliant upon, the Holy Spirit looks like. Jesus showed us what the power of the Holy Spirit looks like in a pure and sinless vessel. Jesus showed us how non-conformity to the ways of man can reverberate through time. He was God’s word made flesh and walked it out in completion, to perfection. Look to your big brother, first to overcome death and this world, and follow Him to the Father. He is the way and the truth and the life, forever.
(Hebrews 2:11) So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.
(John 14:6) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 1:12) But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
(Ephesians 1:5) he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will
An Example in Adversity
In the midst of hard times and adversity people tend to wonder why God would put them in such a difficult position. The truth is that we cannot know the mind of God. His ways are above our ways and His thoughts above our thoughts. I believe that adversity in its many forms (stress, finances, relationships, deaths, etc.) can be an opportunity for the light of Christ to shine forth from His faithful. We live in a world where everyone has something to say and those words hold less value as their number increases. As Christians we must live as an example to the lost so that they desire the peace and joy found in us. What better way to show them than when times are difficult? We can be examples of obedience, dependence, and faith when they would be inconsolable. The words of our mouths are weak in comparison to the example set forth in our life of obedience. Not only does God desire that we draw closer to Him but that the safety found in Him be a light to the dark world.
This world as become chaotic as sin runs rampant. In the chaos people look to leaders to find a way to improve the situation as it falls deeper into darkness. People follow bad/false teachers into positions where they dig in to defend against any opposing view. They feel that they must now match every opinion with a response which represents their personal position. This only acts to create opposition and division in the world. The people we follow are the people we become! As follower of the perfect leader we must brace ourselves with Jesus. When we interact with the world we have to be the influence and not become diluted in our walk with the Lord. We have to be the influence through our actions and our imitation of Jesus, not our wordy opinions and feeble attempts to verbally change the world. It’s easy to talk about Jesus, true Christianity is being an example to the lost so much so that they want to know about the Holy Spirit that guides you. Attempting to verbally influence the world while living in a contradictory means is the easiest way to push people away from the savior and soil what a relationship with Jesus Christ is truly meant to be. The deceiver uses the shallow faith of these misguided people to turn others away from the path to God and put a stigma on the freedom from death found in Jesus.
Followers of Jesus must be gentle. The definition of gentle is acknowledging the power of Christ within you so much so that you don’t have to force your own power upon people. Imagine picking up an injured animal, you know you are capable of hurting them further so you hold back in an attempt to nurture them in their struggle. Lost souls are injured by sin. Be an example of gentleness and trust that the Lord is at work.