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Unending Patience

Even when we are too weak to have any faith left,
He remains faithful to us and will help us,

for He cannot deny us who are a part of Himself,

and He will always carry out His promises to us.

II Timothy 2:13 (TLB)

I wonder’can we disappoint God to the degree that He will finally say, “That’s it!” and just give up on us? I don’t think so. The children of Israel did a lot of things that disappointed God and He disciplined them for their folly but He never disowned them. David, although we sing his praises and consider him to be one of the Bible “greats” really got into an awful mess with Bathsheba and God still called David, “A man after God’s own heart.” Peter denied the Lord but the Lord gave him another chance–which Peter took. I love the picture of Peter throwing his tunic on to cover himself then jumping into the water and running to see Jesus (John 21:6-7). It’s pretty difficult to find a well-known Biblical character that has a perfect record.

And we analyze ourselves and remember all the wrong steps we have taken’and ask, “Does His patience never, ever give out?” Yes, but losing His patience with us will never ever result in our being separated from Him. That just won’t happen. Most of us have had children who disappointed us, but we never ceased to be their parent. His patience doesn’t wane because of our errant ways, our sinful lifestyle, or our poor performance. The proverbial “straw” that proves to be the one that is just too much is not believing those things that we KNOW about Him’those things that He has revealed to us but we just can’t’or refuse’to bring ourselves to accept into our lives.

I noticed a descriptive word just this week that I had not seen before. I’ve been reading in Mark and it is pretty well marked up, but I’m always seeing “something new.” Well, in Mark 10:13-14 it says: And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me ….” You remember the scene, don’t you? And the word that caught my attention is “indignant.”

I went to my dictionary to find the meaning: Indignant: feeling or expressing anger, esp. at unjust or mean action.

I’m confident the disciples had the Lord’s best in their minds: “He’s tired and all of these children will be a drain on what energy He has left. We need to protect Him’He is so compassionate! Let’s get these children away from Him. Run along now kids. Go back to your mom and dad. Jesus is tired and too busy to talk to you. Go on…run!” The disciples knew Him, but they didn’t really know Him. He was indignant with them because they put their humanity on Him. Drawing up the scene I see a futility that the ones who were closest to him judged Him unloving, impotent, and stressed out.

Well, I think His “indignation” at some of our “unjust” actions tries His patience.

We make Him like us instead of our becoming like Him. He is God. He is perfect. When we deny Him that place of honor and glory He becomes indignant. He loses His patience. But He never, ever says, “You’ve done this once too often. You are no longer a part of My family!” We belong to Him and there’s nothing that will ever’ever change that.

Jesus my Lord will love me forever,
From Him no power of evil can sever,
He gave His life to ransom my soul,
Now I belong to Him;
Now I belong to Jesus,
Jesus belongs to me,
Not for the years of time alone,
But for eternity!

– Norman J. Clayton, “Now I Belong to Jesus”

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.