We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 15:1-6) Or as it says in the NLT version: We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.” Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:1-6)
Are you like me? Have you ever wondered why there are days when you seem to have an abundance of patience, days when you can spend large amounts of time listening to the troubles of others and have no problem helping them see reasons to go on and others when you just want to be left alone? Are there days when everything seems to grate on your last nerve, times when you are honking and fussing at most drivers on the road, the person in the checkout line, your coworkers, family members—whoever—it doesn’t matter? Life is working your last nerve! Why is it that there are times when you gather with brothers and sisters in God’s presence, you feel joy in joining them in praise and at others you want to just withdraw into the recesses of yourself and do nothing? Or worse yet, you don’t even want to be in the same building with them—“I can have church at home—by myself!”
Perhaps these verses provide the answers.
Patience and comfort from the scriptures, and they are to give us hope so we can share that with others and then glorify God together! Lord have mercy! God expects me to gain patience and comfort from the scriptures so that I have hope. After I gain patience and comfort, I am supposed to extend that same patience and comfort to others. Where do I get that patience and comfort? I get it from the things that were written in the past that are found in the Word of God. That means, I must spend time there.
My truth? When I spend 5 minutes reading a verse and 3 minutes or so speed praying, I feel short of patience with others throughout the day. I have little to no desire to comfort, and little desire to spend time helping anyone else find a reason to hope. In fact, I feel a bit hopeless myself. I have nothing to give. My storage tanks are empty. But, when I spend time with God, first thing in the morning…reading the verse of the day in context of the chapter and then meditating on it and writing out what God speaks to me about it, I am more able to handle others and situations that I encounter throughout the day. PRAYER: Lord, remind me of the importance of spending time in Your Word and with You so that I can gain the patience and comfort I need to share with others You put in my path each day. And then, help me be able to join in the chorus of praise that glorifies You.