It is difficult to remain patient during times of suffering, just as everyone needs patience during this pandemic. The degree of discomfort during these periods depends on the length of time and the depth of the misery. In suffering, there are also factors involved such as mental and emotional anguish, and external pressures. Factor this in with an unknown waiting time, and this period will be intolerable. No wonder the Chinese character for "forbearance" is a sword stuck in one’s "heart” (忍). The Chinese people have a very positive understanding of "forbearance”. Two famous Chinese idioms state that "Endurance is more precious than gold" and "Great plans are spoiled by those who don’t endure". Clearly being patient is no easy task. Yet, Scripture teaches this is a virtue everyone should practice and apply.
Over the next few weeks, we will explore four situations where God tells us to endure, and learn the wisdom of “Forbearance”.
“When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been. Revelation 6:9-11
The greatest pain of Injustice is that one’s innocence has not been shown, nor have steps been taken to right the wrong. It is extremely painful for those who have been wronged to wait patiently because they believe that they are innocent and it is their right to seek retribution. Waiting just adds to the torment. For this reason, we find our Lord doing two things in this passage: 1. He confirmed the innocence of these martyrs by giving them white robes. 2. He explained that justice would be served though they must endure a little longer (They have to wait patiently until even more servants suffer and the number is completed). This is not an easy truth to understand.
When Christians are wronged, we don’t need to be grieving or complaining about our innocence, but find comfort from God for He is righteous and just. He will never regard the guilty as innocent, nor the innocent as guilty. The time for justice may not be here yet not because the Lord is delaying, and if He is, there is a reason beyond our understanding yet to be revealed. In short, if a Christian is wronged, he must "believe": believe in his innocence and the Lord’s righteousness, then wait patiently for the truth to be revealed. (more next week)
一、含冤受屈 啟示錄 6:9-11