All of us are challenged in the area of patience at times. In
fact, many of the markets in society are driven by our lack of patience. That’s why
grocery stores and some retailers have express lanes. That’s why producers of
mobile devices are always trying to make their products serve us faster.
But none of this matters in our dealings with God. He never
caters to our impatience. Rather, we must learn to wait on Him. In Christianity,
we often talk about faith but we seldom talk about patience as it relates to our
dealings with God. But in order for us to receive from Him we need both faith
Consider the following verse: “Be not slothful, but
followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews
6:12). Note that both faith AND patience are required in order for us to
realize the fulfillment of God’s promises in our life.
Oftentimes, when we pray to God about something over and
over again and nothing happens, we conclude that it must not be His will to
answer our prayer. I believe that some of this errant thinking is driven by
this got-to-have-it-now culture in which we live. But nowhere in the Bible does
God promise that we will receive what we ask for immediately. That’s just not His
style. He moves in the fullness of time, and that’s why patience is important.
Do you remember when God promised to bless Abraham with a
son? This was not long after God had called Abraham away from his family at the
age of 75. But get this; Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was finally born!
And this is what the Bible says about Abraham: “And so, after he had patiently endured, he
obtained the promise” (Hebrews 6:15).
Can you imagine having to wait almost 25 years for God to do
something He had promised you? Of course, this is the exception and not the
rule. Thank God we don’t have to wait that long in order for Him to answer our
prayers. But the point is that before Abraham
received the promise, he had to “patiently endure.” So this verse speaks to the
importance of patience.
Our patience is a measure of our ability to stand firm under
a load or under pressure. Just as we must grow in faith, we must also grow in patience.
“For you have need of
patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the
promise” (Hebrews 10:36).