Patience is an adjective that should be used to describe every follower of Christ in some form or fashion. However, for many of us, it is one of the most difficult attributes of the Christian life to embody. The Christian faith is an active faith. It’s a “get out there and live it” type of faith. Jesus certainly didn’t model for us a passive faith that was characterized simply by sitting back and waiting. Jesus got out there and worked tirelessly to usher the kingdom of heaven into our present reality.
At the same time, this is the Jesus who was asleep on the boat when the storm was about to sink the ship. It’s the same Jesus who waited several days until after Lazarus’s death to show up and save the day. This is the same Jesus who was on this earth for 30 years before He even began His public ministry. Jesus was certainly not one to just sit back lazily on His hands, but, at the same time, He modeled a patience that few of us will ever begin to understand.
“We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through FAITH and PATIENCE inherit what has been promised.” – Hebrews 6:12
I came across this verse and it stopped me in my tracks.
In my mind these seem the somewhat conflicting adjectives. At the very least, it is very difficult to actively reconcile the elements of faith and patience in our daily walk with God. What does it look like to patiently walk in faith?
Personally, I can find myself bouncing back and forth between faith and patience. At one moment, I can be seemingly pressing forward in faith in every area of my life. I am expectant, and believing that God will do all that He has promised. Then things don’t happen in the time-frame that I think they should, and I tend to revert more to a “patient” mindset. I start to sit back and wait on God to move, rather than pressing forward believing that He will. Let me qualify this by saying that I don’t think that this is God’s intention for us at all. Rather, our Father means for faith and patience to work together in such a way that it ushers His promises into our lives.
When we are being led by the Holy Spirit, the relationship between faith and patience becomes much more clear.
Faith is believing that something will happen, while patience is being okay with waiting until that belief is realized. One pushes us forward towards something not yet attained. The other enables us to remain content and joyful with things in their current state. When faith and patience are working together properly, we don’t need to be discouraged when something we are praying and believing for has not yet manifested. We can simply rest in the fact that God is good and His promises are true. At the same time, we don’t need to just sit back on our heels and do nothing. We can keep on intentionally pressing forward in faith knowing that God will bring His promises to pass. Also, we can still have joy even though we may not be seeing them yet.
Related Post: Enjoying the Wait
We are able to consistently move forward with boldness and courage while, at that same time, patiently waiting for change to manifest in the natural. Let us not use patience as an excuse to be lazy. We also ought not use faith as an excuse to dismiss patience. Rather, if we just yield to what the Holy Spirit is telling us, He will teach us how to reconcile the two. It will be in such a way that we will bear lasting fruit.
Maybe you have been running faithfully, but the results aren’t there and you are losing patience.
Maybe you have been patiently waiting on God to move. Is that still small voice is telling you that it is time to take a step of faith. Either way, the Holy Spirit is your answer. Your situation can change today. If you just let Him, He will take your patience and your faith and marry them together so beautifully that it will begin to usher the promises of God into your life in a real and tangible way.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9