Sunday, January 15, 2012
WHERE FAITH AND PATIENCE MEET
How long can you wait on the Lord? How long is long enough? Well, time has a way of proving a man. Time has a way of proving a thing. Time has a way of revealing to us the actual state of our hearts. The genuineness of our faith is based on how long we can wait without questioning God’s ability. If you can’t wait on the Lord in absolute trust after making your request in prayer, then your faith is not active – it’s weak. Patience is the proof that you really trust God. Hebrews 6:12 tells us “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” One thing that is always missing when we are being taught about faith is the link between faith and patience. A message that addresses faith without showing the link between faith and patience is not only lopsided, but also produces weak believers who lack persistence. Your faith is not perfect without patience. In other words, patience is the perfection of our faith. Patience keeps hope alive while faith is at work.
No one really likes to wait. Everyone would rather go for a quick fix. It is really not easy to wait, but when dealing with the Lord, we must learn to wait. Waiting on the Lord speaks of brokenness and total dependence on Him. We learn a lot when we wait. So why do we have to wait for so long sometimes before we see the manifestation of what we asked the Lord in prayer? The answer to this is two fold. First, because we don’t wait long enough in the place of prayer to hear what the Lord has to say about the matter. This makes us to wait as a consequence for our impatience in the place of prayer. Secondly, Because God is a Father and not a prayer answering machine. God knows what we really need and when we really need it just like our earthly fathers do. God is not just interested in you having your desires met; He is also interested in you enjoying it. There are people who, as soon as their desires are granted by the Lord, walk away from Him. They simply lose out on God’s presence and big plan for their lives. This class of people simply have quick satisfaction and can’t see the bigger picture – they’re spiritually immature. So God is interested in meeting our needs while He concurrently wants to grow us into maturity.
Patience is highly connected to spiritual maturity. It’s an act of true worship. It is a major mark of those who really know God, not just for what He can do but also for who He is. Mature Christians know God. They know that He never fails. They know that though it tarries, it will surely show up. They might not know the when and how of it but they know the Who they have trusted. Life in Christ is such an amazing adventure. So, whenever we ask the Lord for a need and we do not get a quick result (after being sure that we are in faith and are walking in holiness before the Lord), it is an opportunity to grow into maturity. Dr. Joyce Meyer said something I will never forget. She said “Patience is not just about waiting. Patience is waiting with the right attitude.” It is really not just about the waiting as it is about how we wait. At the end of the day, after we have seen the manifestation, we’d then realise that not only did the situation change, we also changed! That’s the goal!
Hebrews 10:35-36 say “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” In James 1:3-4 we read “Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” Be encouraged today. Blessings!