“Hurry Up, God!”
Phillips Brooks, a famous New England preacher, well-known for his calmness under pressure was one day feverishly pacing the floor. “What’s the trouble, Phillips?” his friend asked. “The trouble,” he responded, “is that I’m in a hurry, but God isn’t!” I must confess I often feel that way too. And I won’t be surprised if that is true for most people reading this article.
Now, because we are in a hurry and God seems to us to be taking His own time, one of our greatest temptations is to give up too soon. Spouses give up too soon on their marriages. Church members give up too soon on their church. Students give up to soon on their education. Businessmen too soon close shop. Artists too soon give up on their dream. “The tragedy with giving up too soon is that it ends the chance for God to work.” (Lee Mcglone)
As believers struggle with wayward children who are becoming more wayward, unfaithful spouses and unhappy homes, with sickness and death of friends and loved ones, financial needs, joblessness, feelings of rejection and persecution, with apparent delayed answers to prayer, the danger is real that some may throw away their confidence, abandon their life of faith, and return to the world. While the danger is real that some could abandon their faith, what is certain is that He will never abandon them. While they may allow life to make them faithless, He will remain faithful to Himself and to them. When he says I will never leave you or forsake you, He means it.
That’s why Scripture encourages us, not to cast away our confidence, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. (Hebrews 6:10-15 NKJV)
Abraham waited twenty-five years for Isaac to be born. In hope against hope, he continued to believe and grew strong in faith by continually giving glory to God, being fully persuaded He was able to perform what He had promised. Because Abraham was willing to cast his cares upon The Lord and exercise patience, he obtained the promise and is today, undoubtedly, one of the most revered men who ever lived, honored by Christians, Jews, and Muslims.
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” (Hebrews 10:35-37 NIV)
Child of God, I am realizing, more and more, faith does not work alone. Almost always, when it comes to obtaining promises, taking full delivery of our inheritance, and completing our assignment, our faith must be accompanied by patience. The good news, however, is that the patience you need, He supplies.
May the God of all patience strengthen you with His patience in your inner man and empower you by His Spirit to exercise patience and longsuffering with joy.