Word of the Month

Patience and Comfort

April 2000

It is wonderful and magnificent: God does not withdraw his love and grace from us - he has patience with the sinner. We are all sinners from time to time and come short of the glory that we should have with God (cf. Romans 3:23). However, he does not turn away from us, but approaches us in patience, with pity and compassion. To this the Apostle Peter said: "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Now there is still time and opportunity for this.

The patience of God is an example for us, so that we too can be patient - patient under crosses and sorrows, patient in word and the work, patient in waiting for the return of the Lord. Patience gives a child of God a special dignity. Apostle Paul gives the answer: "But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it" (Romans 8, 25). We trust in the Lord because trust radiates out of patience. The call that went forth to the Hebrews is also valid for us: "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise" (Hebrews 10, 35-36).

Upon our walk of faith, our heavenly Father give us comfort over and over, foremostly through the activity of the Holy Spirit. What is comfort? Everything that alleviates the pain of the soul and brings hope and courage in time of suffering. God is a God of great comfort; his servants are sent to comfort his people in the knowledge that Christ, the King, will return soon to gather in his kingdom. Is there any more beautiful comfort than that which the Lord proclaimed though the prophet Jeremiah: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end" (Jeremiah 29, 11).

Let us not forget: God's patience carries us day by day through this time of grace, and we are thankful for his comfort which uplifts us.

With heartfelt greetings,<br/> Yours,

Richard Fehr