It has often been said in evangelistic circles, “There will come a time when God’s patience runs out.” But is it true? If you remember only one thing from this article, remember this: nothing about God will ever run out.
I was taught to believe that God is infinitely patient in character yet, practically speaking, there will come a time when His patience would eventually run out for mankind. The word “infinite” is defined as limitless. How can we claim that God is infinite while, at the same time, attributing limitations upon Him? If God is infinitely patient, then how is it possible for His patience to reach a limit? This seems contradictory.
Again, the key truth to remember is that God’s patience never runs out. The problem is not with God, but with us. God built into each one of us a timer. Whether you are baking cookies or heating something up in the microwave, a timer’s purpose is to run out so that you will know not how to act, but when. There is coming a day when you will find yourself at death’s door. Whether immediate or slow, your life will come to an end.
God is infinitely patient because, unlike us, He does not have a built-in timer. No attribute of His will ever lessen or come to a close. We, on the other hand, are but a vapor in the wind. We are here one day and gone the next. We have a start and we have a finish (physically speaking).
I sat in a drive-thru at Steak ‘n Shake one time for fourteen minutes and there were still three cars ahead of me. I was fine waiting, but I had a commitment I needed to keep and ended up driving off before I received my order. Not because I was impatient, but there came a point when I needed to get moving so that I could meet the other deadline. This is not impatience on my part. It is simply having an objective. Impatience comes when we lose track of our attitudes and allow our sin to take control.
God works this way with man. He is involved in all human affairs and He has foreordained specific times and events to come about. The people of Noah’s day lived almost ten times as long as we do in today’s organically-grown, medically-achieved nutritiously-protein-packed era. Does that mean He was more patient with Noah’s people than us today? Not at all!
God gave the people of Noah’s day 120 years to repent yet they did not. God’s patience was not what ran out; the clock ran out. The people did not meet their deadline (*pun intended).
Final Statement: God’s Patience NEVER runs out. We run out.