"Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth" (Psalm 86:15).
It's hard to imagine a word more descriptive than "longsuffering" when considering God's dealings with the human race (and with me!). He indeed suffers long with us in His patient working to lead us to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, or to conform us to Christ's image if we have already believed.
Such patience speaks to our Heavenly Father's emotional investment in us. If He did not care so deeply, He would not suffer for us and with us. Nor would He suffer long. In his consideration of John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world…" - A.W. Tozer declared that to him, this most beloved of Biblical verses simply meant that "Everybody matters to God. He is emotionally concerned about you and me." Certainly, Scripture confirms this blessed truth on every page, particularly in light of our present consideration of the Lord's longsuffering mercy bestowed upon the human race. He cares because He is patient, and He is patient because He cares. We matter to Him.
Knowing that someone, particularly the Someone, thinks about us with feeling and concern provides a balm in times when we feel alone and bereft of all comfort. God made us for a shared life with others, beginning with Himself. At times, however, life and its challenges seem to press us into lonely venues of the soul where we can see no other form and hear no other voice. "I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top" (Psalm 102:7). It certainly feels this way sometimes. However, it never actually is this way. The truth of the matter is that somebody cares. Somebody cares with longsuffering plenteousness of mercy and truth. "I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me" (Psalm 40:17).
We must trust the Spirit of God and the Word of God to form and increasingly enhance this perception of our patiently enduring Heavenly Father. He suffers long with us because He wants to, and He wants to because we occupy a place, a place of love, in His heart. We must know this truth, and we must know it well. He thinks upon us in this moment, just as He has in the past, and as He always will in the future. Moreover, He thinks upon not simply with His mind, but with that good and glorious facet of His being that causes us to matter so very much…
"The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations" (emphasis added).
Weekly Memory Verse
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.