The Role Of Patience In Receiving A Promise
I’ve recently been pondering the role that patience plays in our lives as believers and more specifically it’s role in receiving a promise from God.
You will not find a lot of facets of our culture today encouraging the growth of patience. Everything is designed to cater more to the development of a self-centered, impatient nature than ever before. The promise of many marketing schemes is essentially, “If you use us you won’t have to wait...we’ll make you very happy!” Although that’s definitely nice in many regards, the bible still seems to regard patience as a very valuable virtue to possess.
Hebrews 11 takes us through a long list of bible patriarchs who trusted in God, endured varying hardships and all to receive something promised from God. They had to wait and endure in order to receive what they hoped for.
They had to wait for it...
We do not naturally like waiting. Not only is this exemplified in fast food drive thru’s, Walmart at Christmas time (yikes!!), bank teller line-ups etc., but intolerance to waiting – impatience – can often show up in our christian walk too.
In believing for something we generally focus on the faith part a lot. Although faith is a very important component to receiving from God, it’s coupled with the quality of patience in Heb.6:12 making patience equally as important in our pursuit of God’s promises.
“We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” (NIV)
Lets think about the patience being discussed here in Hebrews 6. What enables us to have patience? “Well,” you say “ it is a gift of the Holy Spirit..duh.” True! Galatians 5:22 will attest to that. What I mean is what is patience exactly? Or, why does God want us to have it?
Being in a state of patience is really being in a quieted state of trusting. It’s a sense that, “everything is going to be okay” within us. This sense within us comes from a confession of faith. As we “cast our cares” upon the Lord (1Pet.5:7) and “make our requests known to Him” (Phil.4:6-7) we will experience a peace that will “guard our hearts and minds”. With our hearts guarded by His peace we can enter a state where we are actually able to wait for something. Though 1 Pet.3:4 is written in the context specifically addressing women, it sheds light on what a patient, quieted spirit looks like. Peter encourages us to adorn ourselves with a “gentle and peaceful spirit, which is not anxious or wrought up”(AMP). The opposite of patient is impatient or as described here in the Amplified version, being anxious and wrought up. Behind impatience lies fear filled thoughts and questions like, “I’m not going to get this...” or “what if it doesn’t happen?” These questions can cause us to jump ahead of God and try to make things happen on our own or shrink back from enduring to see a promise in process fulfilled.
Being in a state of patience, while in a state of faith is the ultimate combination in order to recieve the good things God has planned for us. Patience is not passive – it’s not lazy and inactive.
Patience is the virtue
which gives faith the
time it needs to work.
The precursor to patience is peace. The precursor to peace is trust.
The amount of trust we have in God and His word will ultimately determine the amount of peace and patience we have and the degree of faith we will be able to walk in.
Patience is a quality we can possess by having our hearts quieted with the truth of God until we know that He is with us and for us. It is a restful state even while battling the opposing forces in this world that try to delay or steal the destiny God has for us. It gives us a calm in the midst of any storm. It keeps us steady within the boundaries our loving Heavenly Father sets for us to guide us into all the good He has planned for us. Patience is truly a most excellent virtue one in which we must strive to possess and grow in as believers. “Through faith and patience” we too will inherit the promises.
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God” 2 Cor.1:20 (NIV)