22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles (Romans 9).
This word “endure” literally means “to carry a burden,” and in this case that burden is “vessels of wrath” — those to whom by His sovereign and rightful choice, mercy is not extended. Here is yet another mystery concerning a God who is beyond our comprehension: He is omnipotent, and yet feels a burden. Nothing is too difficult for Him, yet He must endure. He who effortlessly holds the entire universe in His hands, as if those billions upon billions of stars are but feathers — even this Almighty One still feels the weight of vessels of wrath.
Now, in thinking of these vessels of wrath that God endures, I can’t help but think how Jesus, “for the joy set before Him endured” yet another vessel of wrath — the Cross (Hebrews 12:2). That “joy set before” Jesus was us, and is here described as “vessels of mercy” to whom “the riches of His glory” God would make known. For the sake of vessels of mercy, God endures vessels of wrath. For the sake of vessels of mercy, Jesus endured The Vessel of Wrath.
Thank You, Father in Heaven, for enduring vessels of wrath in order to make Your glory known in us. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for enduring that great and awesome Vessel of Wrath, that we might be proven to be vessels of mercy. Help us This Day to live as pure vessels of Your mercy and glory. Amen.