The Wisdom of God’s Patience
God has been patient with erring mankind and He has been patient with Lucifer/ Satan/the Devil. He certainly has the power and the right to extinguish all beings who persist in an evil, sinful or iniquitous course. But there is wisdom behind the Father’s patience.
First, we know that our Father is a God of justice (Deuteronomy 32:4), but He is also a God of mercy. (Luke 6:36) Mercy always acts as a restraint on justice. Second, we know that our Father is a God of love (1 John 4:8), so His justice is also tempered by love. Therefore, we can trust that justice will never destroy that which mercy can save.
“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
Thus the patience of God allows each of us to exercise our free will and choose the divine will. Even if we have chosen poorly in the past, the time lag of mercy give us an opportunity to correct our path.
But God’s patience also allows one an opportunity to demonstrate a deliberate and fully chosen rejection of the divine will such that when justice is executed, even the iniquitous one will know that the judgment is true.
The patience of the Father also gives us an opportunity to share in the fulfillment of Adam and Eve’s commission to subdue the earth. By rejecting evil and choosing the divine will, we can be an asset to our families, our friends, our communities, even our world. We can imitate our Lord by being a source of encouragement to those who are less fortunate:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
– Luke 4:18-19
We can help ourselves and others to recapture the divine communion that was lost by Adam and Eve and become reconciled to God:
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
– 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
And when we are reconciled to God, we are assured of being adopted into the heavens as spiritual sons and daughters of the Father through Christ Jesus, as was the Father’s purpose since the founding of the world. (Ephesians 1:3-5)