[bibletalk] Patience and Comfort (part 2)

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From: "Steve Preston" <prstn496@...>
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2011 07:03:00 -0400
Patience and Comfort (part 2)

"For  whatsoever  things  were written aforetime were written for
our  learning,  that  we  through  patience  and  comfort  of the
scriptures  might  have  hope"  (Romans 15:4). As in the previous
lesson  on  this  subject,  the  goal  will  be  to  examine  the
scriptures  and  learn  why  we gain comfort and/or patience from
what  has been written. Clearly the Romans passage teaches we are
to  learn  to  have hope. For a Christian to have hope means that
they  believe  God will deliver to us that which He has promised,
that  is  heaven.  Let us now look into the scriptures once again
and learn things that will give us hope.

Most everyone with some Bible knowledge knows the story of Jonah.
Jonah  tried  to  hide from God after being told to go to Nineveh
and  preach  (1:2-3).  Nineveh was a very large city taking three
days  to  walk through it (3:3). Apparently, this particular city
had  given  itself over to sin and was so bad that the news of it
made its way to the Father (1:2). His divine nature allows God to
know  that  Nineveh  was capable of repentance and therefore sent
Jonah to preach to them instead of destroying them as He did with
Sodom  and  Gomorrah.  As it turns out, the people of Nineveh did
heed  the  warnings of Jonah and turned from their wickedness (at
least  for the moment) showing their sorrow by proclaiming a fast
and  covering  themselves with sackcloth (3:5-10). The example of
Nineveh  shows  us  that  our  God  is  a  God  full of mercy and
forgiveness.  Sometimes  people  think  that  they  can  never be
forgiven  for what they have done, that their sins are too bad to
be  washed  away.  We  can have hope knowing that God will indeed
forgive  us,  and  allow us entrance into heaven to be forever in
His  presence,  if we will truly turn from sin and live according
to the will of God.

Hope  comes  to us in a variety of ways. For instance, death of a
loved one can bring about hope. There is even an instance where a
person  lost  three  beloved members of her family (a husband and
two sons) and the end result was hope for mankind. For those with
a good Old Testament knowledge, you may recognize this example as
the  story  of  Ruth. Ruth married one of Naomi's two sons. After
the  death  of  her  husband  and  sons,  Naomi,  along  with her
daughter-in-law  Ruth,  went to her homeland of Judah to the city
of  Bethlehem  (1:14-19).  In  time, Ruth was wed to a kinsman of
Naomi  named  Boaz (4:13). Boaz and Ruth produced children one of
which  was named Obed the grandfather of David from whose lineage
came  Jesus  the Christ (4:17). There can be no greater hope than
believing  that  Jesus  is  the  Christ, the only begotten of the
Father.  Through  Christ  we  have  forgiveness  of  sins and the
salvation of our souls.

Hope  abounds throughout the pages of the Bible and especially in
the  Old  Testament.  Time after time, God has shown that He will
deliver  what He said He will. There has never been a time when a
faithful follower has not benefited from submitting themselves to
the  will  of  God. We must have patience waiting for God to give
us, in His own good time, that which He has promised. Eternity in
heaven  in  the  presence  of the Father and the Son is certainly
worth  putting up with any inconvenience this world throws at us.
Even  in  times of sorrow we can know that one day we will cry no
more but forever be filled with joy.

In Christ, Steve Preston

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