I once received a sermon from a pastor who challenged us to show power by showing restraint. He said if someone wrongs you the natural response is to get mad and get even. We are taught that this is manly; and it is also the fleshly, easy, human or animalistic reaction. He pointed out that it actually takes more power to not react and lovingly restrain.
Paul shares this in Romans 9:22-23. He says God chooses to show his wrath on sinfulness on one hand, but he also makes his power known by bearing: “with great patience the objects of his wrath – prepared for destruction”. If you counted all the sins of mankind over all of time and you realize every sin is a direct affront to God himself you’ll have to agree that it is a display of powerful restraint to show us the mercy which he does.
Paul goes on to rhetorically ask: “What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy” This question evokes a beautiful picture. The immense riches of his glory are actually being displayed by showing mercy to us, the guilty who become the very objects of his mercy.
His kindness to us, sinners deserving destruction, actually brings him more glory.
God twists our sin in that the more we sin the more power he displays by pouring out more mercy resulting in bringing him more glory.
Then he adds a personal and loving quote from the prophet Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one.”
We are his people, his loved ones who continually sin and who he forgives for his glory. Thank you so very much Lord. Thank you.