The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Recite using the acronym:
|T L I M A G , S T A A A I S L . PSALM 103:8|
Read Full Passage HERE
Our God, who is perfectly holy, sovereign, and the creator of the universe, is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. What a precious truth. If only we were to meditate on this truth more often. God’s patience is the perfect mixture of His slowness to anger and steadfast love. I believe, when reflecting on Psalm 103:8, it is important to grasp the surrounding verses that support David’s claim. Read the following verses:
9 He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
God’s patience is proven in His actions. The Lord will not always scold and rebuke. He will not hold onto His anger. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve. His love towards us is immeasurable, just as the distance between us and our sin when He takes it away. Those who fear Him receive His compassion because He remembers our nature and brokenness. Creation made from dust. We see this in the life of Christ; His anger is never quick towards the sinful, but instead towards those who believe they aren’t–the self-righteous. He is patient towards the tax-collector seeking his presence, patient towards the adulterous crippled by her past, patient towards the prodigal who came back home and ultimately is patient towards you.
Is this how you view God?
When you sin, do you shrink in fear? Do you subtly believe in a form of Christian karma, that you will get what is coming to you because you have been rebellious? Do you view the Father as angry, disappointed, resentful, and vengeful towards you? This mindset makes you want to pull away from Him rather than run to Him when you have fallen. I believe this false perception of God’s view of you comes straight from our adversary, the devil. He wants you to forget God’s patience and steadfast love and isolate yourself in guilt and shame.
The Lord knows we are fallen, and because of this fact, He chose to send Christ into the world to have compassion on our nature and accomplish what we never could. Now, when we sin, God looks at us and sees us as clean, having been cleansed by the atoning blood of Christ. Our sin has been separated so far from us that it is no longer in the picture. God is not disappointed with us so long as we have first feared Him. Not all get to experience this gracious gift of compassion, only those who first fear Him.
All this said, we are not saying God will not discipline you when you sin, especially when you are in a cycle of repeated sin. Sometimes he takes things away to get a hold of you when you have gone down a path of repeated idolization and distraction. But what’s key to remember is that God is slow to anger. He will not always rebuke; He will not always be angry. Sometimes God bears with our disobedience for a little while to allow us an opportunity to come back without Him having to intervene. Because sometimes, His intervention can be painful. But His discipline is perfect, done out of His steadfast compassion, as a father who disciplines His child. God desires us to come to Him with true repentance when we sin, not allowing fear to withhold us from approaching Him and then getting stuck in a cycle of sin. The Lord is patient, steadfast in love and mercy. Run to Him.