FAITH WORKS WITH PATIENCE
(From a sermon of Bro. Julius Adewumi)
I remember a comic I read in one Sunday newspaper. A little boy looked up to the sky and asked God, "what does a billion years mean to you?" Godís voice came back from the sky saying "a second". The boy asked again, "what does a billion dollars mean to you?" The voice replied, "just a penny". "Whaoh!" the boy said. "In that case, God, can you give me a penny?" The voice replied, "No problem! Just wait a second".
Think about that! The boy wants a penny of God, and all he needs to do is wait a second. A second of God. See how long that translates to?
That second is a billion years from the conversation. It almost summarizes what faith and patience is.
Psa.90: 4, "For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night."
God is not in a hurry. Then if you have to go by Godís calendar you may say it is going to be very long. Remember how long the Lord had waited for the fruits of the earth since he placed the first man, Adam, here. The book of Genesis chapter one actually was prophetic that the Lord will finish the work on earth in 6000 years, and rest in the 7000th year, which is the millenial reign of Christ upon earth. "My Father worketh hitherto and I work". (Jn.5: 17).
You see, God is not in a hurry. Because of this, our patience must be exercised in faith. When exercising faith, remember patience. That is, when you ask something from God, you must be patient.
I will give examples from the bible how promises from God to individual people did not come to the recipients the second day. There was always a long delay for the promises to be realized. Long in human eyes, but on time, as far as God is concerned. These men waited for years to receive their promises. If faith would fail them, they would become impatient. When impatient, they ran ahead and did something else which they lived to regret. The bible said tribulation do work out patience.
(Rom.5: 3). Therefore during the long wait for Godís promise, we have seen in the scriptures that often, the men of faith went through some form of trial times which worked patience in their lives.
Remember the parable of the prodigal son who came to his father and demanded the portion of the inheritance that pertains to him. That was impatience. "An inheritance may be obtained hastily at first, but the end thereof shall not be blessed."
With faith, we need patience. The Lord said he is coming soon. We need patience to wait for his coming. "For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." (Heb.10:36).
"And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end. That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises." (Heb.6:11-12).
With faith and patience we inherit the promises of God.
In James chapter one verse three, we read: "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." (James 1:3-4).
The trying of the faith of the saints is to bring patience. I remember in a vision one time, I was asking the Lord "when are you coming? When is the rapture?" The Lord said something like "you have not carried this boy yet and you are talking about the rapture!" I didnít understand the statement, but it sure made me to see that we are more in a hurry than the Lord is, yet he has been waiting for 2000 years. When the Lord hurry us to do something, it is for our sakes, because somebodyís chance to hear the gospel is transpiring, or someoneís chance to give the gospel is transpiring. Therefore he uses "the coming of the Lord" to urge us to get to work.
Why is God delaying? Remember, a day with the Lord is as one thousand years. When we walk with the Lord therefore, we must remember that he is not in a hurry. However our own time is limited. The apostles also were anxious for the kingdom of Israel to revive, and they asked the Lord saying "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" And he said unto them, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power". (Acts 1:6-7).
Letís give some examples of men of faith who had to wait long to receive the promise, so that we can remember to exercise similar patience in waiting for our promises.
Abraham was promised that he would have a child. Do you know how long he waited? Almost 25 years for the promise child. Within that 25 years, they worked something out and got Ishmael. But they regretted it when they had to cast Ishmael out. Does Godís promise have to take that long? It depends on the promise. You may say 25 years? Was that not too long? The fact of the matter is, if God gives a promise, he will keep the man alive till the man receives the promise. God never fails. You cannot say, "well, he promised this man one thing, but the man is dead now before the promise comes". God has not promised it. If God promised it, the man will still be alive by the time the promise comes. Example: God told a man by the name of Simeon that he should not see death before he had seen the Lordís Christ. (Luke 2:25-28). Simeon could be rest assured that he would not die, no matter the disease that plagued him, and no matter how old he was becoming, as long as he had not seen the Lordís Christ.
Another example is Joseph. How old was Joseph when he had the dreams that the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars were bowing down to him? Most likely 12, 13, or 14 years old. See how long before he became the Prime minister in Egypt at the age of 30? He waited for about 15 years before the promise manifested. During those fifteen years remember what happened to Joseph. He went through hard times. He was sold as a slave, and later went to prison: life-imprisonment, without any hope of being released. But it did not stop the promise of God. It became part of the process for getting Joseph to that promise. Often times, the promise of God comes with a process. A process of getting the person ready! A process of making the person to be able to do the job when the promise will arrive.
Itís like going to school. Letís suppose you receive a vision or dream that you became a medical doctor when you are just in sixth grade (elementary school). You may be happy, praising God that you are going to be a medical doctor some day, because you see in your dream you were wearing a white robe as a doctor working on people. Yeah! Great!
To become a doctor do you know what you have to go through? You have to go through college, and medical school! Many years of college! That is the process.
So, you may receive a promise, but there is a process people go through in order to arrive at that promise.
Joseph went through his hard times, and out of the prison to receive the promise. You may ask why every promise of God has to pass people through some long delay like that. It is because God is patient. Anyone who will walk with God must learn to be patient like him.
From the time God told Noah till the rain came, was estimated to be about 120 years. God had to give him a long time to prepare. God knew how long it would take Noah to get the Ark ready. After Noah had worked on the Ark for years and it was completed, God could then tell him "yet in 7 days" the rain would come. There would be trial times for Noah while preparing the ark, in the form of mockery and every other thing not recorded.
Remember that the promise of God is always accompanied by a process to prepare the recipient.
Another example is Moses. From the time Moses knew that God had chosen him to be the deliverer of the Hebrews, to the time he actually delivered them out of Egypt was over forty years. Acts 7:25 said " For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not."
When he was forty years old, he already knew that God had something for him to do, to deliver the hebrews. He attempted to do something by killing an Egyptian, and another Hebrew man rejected his intervention into their affairs. He had to flee to Midian. He ran away for forty years. You may say why so long? Forty years? Yes, because God was not in a hurry. So, anyone that is going to walk with God must have patience.
Faith works with patience. Sometime when you pray for your body to be well, it takes patience.
Even in the world, when you take medicine to heal your body, the doctor does not guarantee that once you swallow the medicine the sickness will disappear. The doctor usually prescribes, "use one capsule three times a day for many days". It means you may have to take that medicine for many days before you begin to see the result. That is patience, believing the doctorís prescription. When you pray for your healing, expect the prayer to take effect believing Godís prescription:
"Ö. If ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." (Mat.21:21-22).
Faith works with patience! Moses preparation took forty years, from the time he wanted to do it, to the time God was ready.
Samuel also: from the time he was made a prophet, to the time all Israel came to Samuel, the scripture said it was twenty years that the ark of God abode in Kirjathjearim. In those twenty years Samuel was not the leader. You cannot force yourself on the people to be their leader. If God is leading you and not politics, the people will come to you. Samuel waited until all Israel lamented after God, then they came to Samuel. (1Sam.7:2-4).
David was anointed king when he was a young lad. He became king finally when he was 30 years old. Part of the process for David to become a good and effective king, was that he was driven out of the country by king Saul, which tamed and trained him to be both a good leader, leading the 600 families into exile, and a good warrior.
The Lord Jesus:
Finally, the greatest example of them all is from the Lord Jesus Christ.
How many years did the Lord waited to become the King of this planet? He is still waiting for the past 2000 years. He came, preaching that the kingdom of God is at hand, and was crucified, and we are still waiting for the kingdom to be established on earth. That is part of the patience of God.
As we said, if Moses waited forty years, and Abraham waited for 25 years, David waited for about 15 to 20 years, the greatest of them all, is the Lord Jesus Christ who waited for 2000 years, and he is still waiting. We must have patience to be a little like him.
God is patiently waiting. That is faith with patience. It will take place as God promised.
If we are to be like Jesus Christ, we should have patience. We need patience therefore after we have done the will of God, to receive the promise.
We need patience to deal with one another. We need patience to expect the best out of our children. The word we are teaching our children takes time to germinate. We need patience when dealing with the children, so that we must not uproot the seed planted by our bad words. Donít disturb the seed by the word of your mouth in speaking negative about your children. Confess positive that the word of God which we have spoken and taught the children shall not fail, for it is Spirit and it is life, and it shall bear fruit of righteousness. Expect the best from your children, and patiently wait to see the fruits of your labour.
God also has put the Holy Ghost in our heart, he has put his word in our heart, and He is waiting, expecting the fruit of the Spirit to manifest in our life. It shall manifest. When we make a mistake, God corrects us, but patiently he is waiting for the fruit of the Spirit. He planted the Holy Ghost within us, and he will produce fruit if we let him. The same way, when we plant the seed of faith in our children. We need patience to let it take root and produce fruit in the children. Patiently wait to see it manifest. Similarly when we pray for ourselves. Patiently wait for the answer to manifest. Also we look for the rapture and the Lordís coming. Patiently wait for it to occur. It shall occur as the scripture has said.
I pray that the Lord give all of us the grace to patiently wait for the promise of God to manifest in our lives, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry