“Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus.” (Romans 15:5)
Paul gives us a descriptive title for the Lord as the God of patience and consolation (encouragement). To understand this, we need to consider the context in which it was given. In the previous chapter, Paul addresses a divisive conflict in the Roman church where believers were judging and offending one another because of dietary preferences. He reminds them, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17).
Paul goes on to say, “Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself” (Romans 15:2-3). Thus, our lives should be conducted to promote the edification of the body of Christ by denying ourselves and modeling the life of Jesus.
But how can we perform such a seemingly difficult task in our families, churches, and occupations? We are told that this ability is granted to us by our God of patience and consolation. Think of how much offence our Creator God has patiently endured with His gracious long-suffering toward sinful mankind and how much consolation He abundantly offers to us in His Word and through the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
Let us look daily to God’s Word and model our lives accordingly: “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); and request His strength to perform it: “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ….That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:14, 16). JPT
From Days of Praise