By Julie Hasling
“We do not want you to become lazy, but to be like those who believe and are patient, and so receive what God has promised.” Hebrews 6:12 (NIV)
We say it all the time, “I can’t wait!” It’s an expression of anticipation of something we’re looking forward to. But this phrase can also mean, I can’t and won’t wait so I’m going to act on my own behalf. The first interpretation of this phrase represents hopeful expectation while the latter, of course, is impulsive and faithless.
Many times, during prayer, as I have petitioned the Lord about something I had been waiting for, He’s led me back to the subject of patience. He would bring this verse in Hebrews 10:36 to mind…Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” (NLT)
The American society today is not conducive to patience—we want instant gratification! We have our instant coffee, instant fast-food, and even Instant Messenger! But answer to prayer is not always instant because it is in this time of expectant waiting that forges patience and endurance in us—something vital to our faith!
“…when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.” James 1:2-4 (TPT)
Think of the patience of Noah. He was shut inside a boat with animals (and family) for over one year! Or perhaps the patience of Abraham who waited some 25 years for a promised son? In addition, the Bible specifically tells us to remember the patience of Job!
“We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.” James 5:11 (NLT)
The Lord never asks us to wait in vain—there is great reward for those who wait in faith. “…the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.” Isaiah 30:18 (NLT)
Today, let these words settle down within you and create unwavering trust in Him. Let the Lord forge His patience in you as you wait expectantly upon Him! And remember, whatever you are going through will not last forever and hopefully, on the other side you will be a person of greater patience and gratitude!
“We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.” Colossians 1:11-12 (MSG)