When we share the message of the gospel, we hope and pray for an immediate conversion. We conjure up in our minds a wonderful scenario of a person, perhaps a loved one, joyfully receiving salvation and life everlasting. When those golden opportunities to share God’s Word are rejected, we go away disheartened and disappointed. Perhaps we even blame ourselves that may lead us to be reluctant to ever share again.
The Bible says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
The fruit of patience is seen in a person who has the power to exercise revenge or retaliation, but instead uses restraint. Affirming His desire to extend a time of grace to make room for all people to come and receive salvation by faith, our Lord is patient.
We, too, can be patient, trusting in God’s Word to work in hearts according to His timetable. Coming to faith is typically a process. God uses our words and actions to further the process along. In the meantime, we exercise patience – recognizing that ultimately, coming to faith is the Lord’s work, not our own.
Armed with this understanding, we can go to the Lord and pray;
“God, what love and patience You have – wanting everyone to come to repentance! Help me stay grafted into You so that Your love and patience may flow through me also. As I bank on Your promises, let Your fruit be evident in me as I share You with others. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.”