Today is the 14th day of our 21 day fast. Only 7 more days to go. I pray that God is strengthening you, renewing you, restoring you and blessing you during this time of prayer and fasting. We all have taken this step to deny our flesh for a spiritual purpose and I cannot wait to hear the testimonies of 2018 that will come from this act of obedience to God and desire to be closer to Him.
I don’t know about you but each day of this fast has brought different challenges. The enemy has attacked me in different ways and some were stronger than others. I have been attacked in the body, mind and soul while on this journey of seeking God. Some days were really tough just to make it to the next. Through it all I can truly say God has been faithful and I have learned to trust Him more and more knowing that He has my future in His hands and my best interest in His heart.
Today I want us to focus on the fact that Jesus is longsuffering. Longsuffering is an old word that simply means patient. I am so thankful that we serve a God who is patient. I am reminded of the many times when Jesus was on this earth and how He ministered to people. Many times the disciples did not understand what He was saying or doing and it often caused confusion among them. Jesus would say to them things like “o ye of little faith” (Matthew 8:26), “How long shall I be with you” (Matthew 17:17), “because of your unbelief” (Matthew 17:20), “do you still not understand” (Matthew 15:16), “do you not understand or remember” (Matthew 16:9) and many, many more.
Jesus was longsuffering with those to whom He ministered and especially with those within His inner circle, the disciples. Jesus could have at any point walked away from them. He could have said I have made a mistake. I thought you guys were smarter or more talented than this. I thought you would learn quickly or I misjudged your character, but He never said any of those things. I believe Jesus got frustrated and maybe even annoyed at times, but He never gave up on them, always encouraging them and loving them. Yes, Jesus constantly challenged their belief system and their fleshly nature but He never gave up on them.
I am so thankful that we serve a God who is patient. I know I need His patience in my own life. 2 Peter 3:9 says that God is longsuffering or patient not willing that any should perish but all should come to repentance. God’s mercy is renewed every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23) and His grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). God does not give up on me simply because I still don’t get it or my faith is not there yet or I sinned yet again. Our God is patient, His mercy endures forever, and His grace is sufficient to see you through any situation. That does not mean that I keep sinning because of this grace and patience but I love more because of it. It is simple really: love more and sin less.
Blessings to Each of You,
HOPE CHURCH NEWPORT NEWS
4 Elmhurst Street
Newport News, Virginia 23603