The Berean Expositor
Volume 16 - Page 66 of 151
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The Ministry of Consolation.
The God of patience, consolation, and hope.
pp. 94, 95
"Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded . . . . . Now the
God of hope fill you with all joy" (Rom. 15: 5 and 13).
It is not our intention at the moment to show the relation of these titles with the
practical and the dispensational teaching in which they are set. Our present purpose is
simpler. In II Thess. 2: 16 we have an aionian consolation connected with good hope.
Here, in Rom. 15:, God is called the God of patience, consolation and hope. We have
seen the close association of consolation and hope, here we see the link between them--
patience, "the patience of hope". What work is to faith, what labour is to love, that
patience is to hope. Work perfects faith.
"Seest thou how faith wrought with his (Abraham's) works, and by works was faith
made perfect?" (James 2: 22).
Patience has a perfect work to perform. It is not sufficient to hold the teaching of the
pre-millennial coming of the Lord. It is not sufficient to be a "Second Adventist".
Scripture speaks of those who "love" His appearing, who because they have this hope,
"purify" themselves. So, to entertain the blessed hope scripturally we shall realize its
calming influence in the midst of life's alarms, we shall be saved from murmuring in the
face of life's disappointments, we shall be saved from despair when we face life's
frailties. As patience flows from hope, so consolation flows from both, and each re-act
upon the other to their mutual strengthening:--
"Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh"
(James 5: 8).
As we look at the context of Rom. 15: 5 there are two items that contribute further to
our understanding of this ministry of consolation. In verse 5 we have the title, "the God
of patience and consolation", but in verse 4 that title is made very clear, for there we
"That we through the patience and consolation of the Scriptures might have hope."
This reference to the Scriptures prevents us from flying off into the realm of
imagination or mere experiences, for God Himself here condescends to limit His titles
and their scope to what is "written for our learning".
The outcome of this patience and consolation of the Scriptures with which God
Himself is so intimately related, is to be manifested in the unity of His believing people.
There were two grounds for disunity in the church at Rome as chapter 14: clearly