Ever gone dress shopping with a 2 year old and forgot the umbrella stroller? I have! What an experience – just a short pop-in to a dress store, to try on the dress in the window for a wedding that weekend, resulted in our 2 year old son and myself in tears in the car within 15 minutes.
Frustrated, I called my Bible study leader (who reared 8 children!) and asked “how did you get the patience?” She spoke these words to me that have helped me through many trials and tribulations to this day – “paint the picture”. She explained before she went anywhere with any of her children, she explained where they were going, what she expected of them, and what the consequences would be if the child did not do as she expected, and that the minimum reward would be she would be so pleased with them. (Ephesians 6:1 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”) She and the child patiently kept their eyes on the goal (which was believing or faith that the goal of good behavior would be met).
After painting the picture in future excursions (and making sure Aaron and I were set for success – i.e. – stroller, cheerios, nap taken) there was much less frustration on both of our parts.
Who doesn’t need patience? We all do! And not just to get through the day or to deal with the kids, but because God says we do. We’re going to the Word to find out about Biblical patience and how it relates to faith.
That ye be not slothful (lazy), but followers (imitators) of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises (produce the promises of God and His Word).
Almost everywhere you find faith mentioned in the Bible, you’ll also find patience. Together they produce – every time.
Faith equals believing. There are many kinds of faith, but this is the faith we are talking about today.
Hebrews 11:1, 3
Now faith is the substance (confidence) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
The kind of faith in verse 3 is what we’re talking about – the kind that formed the world! This is not just the “hoping and praying” kind of faith – there is no substance. Hope can’t be confused with faith. This kind of praying doesn’t produce results.
So, we walk in faith, believing, but what do we do when results seem slow coming?
To get results from our faith takes patience. If everything was instant, that would be great. But it doesn’t always happen that way. But while we are waiting for the inherited promises in Heb. 6:12 to come to pass, don’t underestimate the power of our faith. Don’t faint!
Patience - what patience is not:
Getting beat up with a smile on your face
Being satisfied with whatever happens
Just knuckling on
Not going under until the storm passes
This is not biblical patience.
Biblical patience undergirds our faith till the results are evident or manifested – ex. finances, health restored after a long illness, children’s behavior, husband’s (or your own) attitudes – whatever you are believing for according to God and His Word. Patience slips under the faith and keeps it moving as time is passing. Patience keeps us from fainting, giving up.
Patience takes practice. We need to develop it (have the patience to get patience).
Here are some steps for developing patience:
1- Read God’s Word; find those promises to help with the patience in your situation.
The Word will undergird the faith, the believing. I encourage you to write those verses down, put them on your mirror, in your purse, on your desk, in your car. Keep them in front of your eyes.
Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou riseth up.
And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
And thou shalt write them upon the post of thy house, and on thy gates.
2- Confess, speak those things forth.
Following is an excerpt from Victory magazine, September 2011 edition; page 9 from an article about Charles Capp entitled “Farmer & Fisher of Men”.
The Power of Saying
“I’d heard Brother Hagen teach on confessing the Word,” Charles explains. “So I got a yellow sheet of paper and wrote my own confessions based on Scripture. Every day I walked around my land declaring, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd and I shall not want. Christ has redeemed me from the curse of the law. For poverty He has given me wealth. For sickness He has given me health. It is true unto me according to the Word of God.’”
At first, the confessions seemed not only illogical but dishonest. He wrestled with the seeming contradiction. How could he truthfully confess abundance and no lack when he had no money? “Lord, these confessions seem like a lie,” he said.
How can you lie saying what I say? God answered.
“That made sense to me so I went right on confessing the Word,” Charles recalls. “I made those confessions for about a year before anything changed; and the first thing that changed wasn’t my finances. It wasn’t my crops. It was what I saw in my mind’s eye. I saw myself rich. I was still broke, but I felt rich.”
I have also heard Charles Capps stood on his front porch and declared, “I’ll not be broke another day in my life”. Was it instant, no! Did he quit confessing? No! Do your confessions seem like a lie? Are the confessions what the Word says? Where are they in the scripture? How can you lie saying what God says?
3- See yourself rich, healed, with the desires of your heart – whatever is your faith point!
Paint your picture. Don’t confess that you can’t. Do it in the natural realm – imagineer – see yourself in your mind’s eye winning before you compete. Coming from an athletic family, this is a big deal. We were taught it when we were kids. 2 nieces have held the discus records at our high school back in Kansas - one for 15 years, 2 nephews are still running cross county, one brother is a coach, my other brother has a cross country record at K-State, 1 niece shows horses and her paint gelding won World competition in Ft Worth a few years ago, 1 nephew is sponsored by a snow boarding company and flies all over the U.S. to compete professionally. Yep, they’re into sports. They see themselves winning before they do.
4- Keep moving, moving in faith. Say to yourself, “it’s happening, it’s happening”. Remember what Pastor Corey says – go through it, don’t pitch a tent in the middle of it.
Yea, though I WALK through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: . . .
Keep moving no matter what is going on, it will only distract and distress you. Don’t overlook your progress (write it down, take pictures, document).
Patience is the difference between trying faith and doing faith. I don’t want to try faith, I want to do faith!
Once again – What’s the answer when results are slow in coming and we are tempted to give up? Patience!
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; (or trials)
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. (No lack)
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth (without reproach) not; and it shall be given him. (Ask for it!)
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (Must be single minded!)
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Romans 5:3, 4
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience: And patience, experience, and experience, hope.
Patience is courage under fire, it takes courage to claim the Word and keep moving no matter what is going on. Patience keeps you from fainting, giving up. Trials and tribulations don’t develop faith.
Romans 10:17 says, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God”. Trials and tribulations develop patience.
Patience is the working power that sustains until see the results. Act like you have it before you have it.
Cast not away therefore your confidence (faith), which hath great recompense (payment) of reward.
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Don’t cast away your confidence or your faith. Deliverance is just around the corner. Success is getting up one more time than you fall.
Patience comes to faith’s aid to make it stand. Patience holds you calm. Faith takes whatever you need and patience keeps it.
Working the power of patience is the difference between success and failure in the faith walk.
Now faith is the substance (or confidence) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Believe you have whatever it is before you have it, your evidence is the Word, not the results. You exercised your faith. Now let patience have its perfect work, undergirding the faith. Confess, talk, and act, inherit those promises.
I know God’s Word is true. I will not be moved by what I see or feel. I will only be moved by the Word of God. I patiently rest on the truth of God’s mighty Word!
See you in Church.