【5.12】颂扬我们忍耐的神 Celebrating Our Patient God


“主所应许的尚未成就,有人以为他是耽延,其实不是耽延,乃是宽容你们,不愿有一人沉沦,乃愿人人都悔改。” – 彼后 3:9

对于吃冷冻比萨饼,我没有丝亳的耐性。我不等烤箱预热便把饼放进去,当饼烤烘好后,我又不等它凉一点便立即开始吃。我缺乏耐心的结果,就是被一个烤得糟糕的比萨饼烫了嘴巴!

然而,如果我改变一下,先是耐心一点处理好冷冻比萨饼,这还不能表示圣灵在我心里动工了。当我们以圣灵的果子来看忍耐时,它的意思不只是急躁的反义词那么简单。所以,在加拉太书 5:22-23列出圣灵所结的果子时,有时会用“容忍”(forbearance)或“恒久忍耐”(longsuffering)来取代“耐心”(patience)的。

圣灵感动使徒彼得提醒他的读者,神对所有人心怀忍耐 – 衪容忍着且恒久忍耐着他们。

神首先在伊甸园彰显了衪对人类令人震撼的忍耐,衪应许赐下一位救主挽回他们,而不是叫他们永远离开衪的面(创世记 3:15)。而从那时起,神一直耐心地呼召我们去悔改。纵使有时衪也会惩罚我们,但衪不会毁灭衪所爱的蒙衪呼召的人类。今天,神仍然继续等待万族万国的人以信心和悔改来到衪面前。而衪也天天呼召我们信靠之人转向衪,又以赞美和感恩的心来歌颂祂的忍耐宽容。

祷告

恒久忍耐的神,感谢你呼召我们悔改信靠你。求你帮助我们来回应你慈爱的呼召。奉耶稣名祈求,阿们。

彼得后书 3:1-9

1亲爱的弟兄啊,我现在写给你们的是第二封信。这两封都是提醒你们,激发你们诚实的心,
2叫你们记念圣先知预先所说的话和主救主的命令,就是使徒所传给你们的。
3第一要紧的,该知道在末世必有好讥诮的人随从自己的私欲出来讥诮说:
4“主要降临的应许在哪里呢?因为从列祖睡了以来,万物与起初创造的时候仍是一样。”
5他们故意忘记:从太古凭神的命有了天,并从水而出、藉水而成的地;
6故此,当时的世界被水淹没就消灭了。
7但现在的天地还是凭着那命存留,直留到不敬虔之人受审判遭沉沦的日子,用火焚烧。
8亲爱的弟兄啊,有一件事你们不可忘记,就是主看一日如千年,千年如一日。
9主所应许的尚未成就,有人以为他是耽延,其实不是耽延,乃是宽容你们,不愿有一人沉沦,乃愿人人都悔改。

Celebrating Our Patient God

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9

When it comes to frozen pizza, I am not at all patient. I don’t wait for the oven to preheat, and once the pizza is done, I don’t wait for it to cool down. My impatience leads to a poorly cooked pizza that burns my mouth!

But if I changed and became more patient with frozen pizza, that would not necessarily be a sign of the Spirit working in me. When we think of patience as the fruit of the Spirit, it means more than just the opposite of hotheadedness. That is why “forbearance” or “longsuffering” is sometimes listed in place of “patience” in the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.

The Holy Spirit prompted the apostle Peter to remind his readers about the patience—longsuffering and forbearance—of God to all people.

God first showed his amazing patience with humanity in the Garden of Eden when he promised a Savior rather than eternal banishment from his presence (Genesis 3:15). And ever since then, God has patiently continued to call us to repentance. Though he will sometimes send punishment, God does not destroy the people he loves and has called. God continues to wait today for people from every tribe and nation to come to him in faith and repentance. And he calls us to return to him daily and to celebrate his patience with praise and thanksgiving.

Prayer

Patient God, we thank you for calling us all to faith and repentance. Help us to respond to your gracious call. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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