Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
Ask people what they believe about God, and one of the things you are unlikely to hear is that He is kind. This speaks to how far away from truly knowing the Lord many are. While God is just and holy, He is also kind and loving to us all. This kindness is often misunderstood by people as indifference, or His being distant from us, but it actually speaks to His patience and longsuffering towards us with the hope of our repentance. When I was a young man, I did not consider God in my decisions, only what I wanted. I only called out to God when I found myself in “a jam” and wanted relief. If God did not do as I wanted, then I got angry and concluded that He did not care or did not exist at all. I now look back as a believer and see how very patient He was with me, and how He rescued me countless times when I should have faced judgement due to my sinful and prideful ways. He was helping me, but because it was not “my way”, I felt abandoned. It was not until I looked to Jesus Christ and surrendered to Him for salvation that my understanding began to change. Even to this day, I am learning more and more about all the Lord has done for me, and what He continues to do in His kindness. Kindness is not weakness; it is showing love and consideration for others in a sensitive and careful way out of strength. It is doing what is best for others, not just what they want. I am seeing this now thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God in my life. My friends, this is true also for you and anyone else you may know. Whether we recognize it or not, God is showing love and kindness to all. If we base our decisions on whether it matches what we want, or feel our circumstances should be, we will be deceived. We need to view life with eyes of faith in God that His Word is true and trustworthy; we cannot base our conclusions on temporary circumstances we may be facing at the moment. This truth is what we need to share with a lost and dying world around us that thinks like I did for the first 24 years of my life. If we will rely on God’s Spirit in us, and let Him give us the courage to speak out, we can share with others the “hope of Christ” that God does indeed love us and wants the best for us in His kindness and mercy. Some of our most painful experiences in life can transform us into great servants for God and people once we get this proper understanding. Take time today to concentrate on the kindness of the Lord in your life so you can share that with others and help them to trust in Him. Jesus Christ died to set us free from sin and all that holds us back from a loving relationship with our Creator. You must know His kindness towards you to fully appreciate Him and His love. May we all do so.
Pastor Gary Houdek