FAITH WORKS PATIENCE
By faith we must wait the Lord's time. God's Word says "...that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing," JAM 1:3-4
The Lord proves our faith by waiting until His own appointed time to fulfill His promises. We can see with the history of Abraham. The Lord told Abraham, "...Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be," GEN 15:5.
After ten years, faith turned to human reason. Sarai, Abraham's wife became impatient seeing she was passing her childbearing age. GEN 16:3 says, "And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife."
The Lord sets His own clock of providence for His own good reasons. It is to teach patience by the exercise of faith, therefore, God waits His own appointed time. The test of faith is whether we have patience to await the Lord's time. "And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him," ISA 30:18.
In His infinite wisdom our tender loving Father knows when the trial of our faith in His chastening hand has done its perfect work. HEB 12:11 says, "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."
The hour predetermined by the Father to discover His love unto us is always the best time, both for His own glory, and for our welfare. ISA 16:14 says "But now the LORD hath spoken, saying, Within three years, as the years of an hireling, and the glory of Moab shall be contemned, with all that great multitude; and the remnant shall be very small and feeble."
Moab was the instrument God had chosen to use to chasten Israel, but He had also chosen the time and the means whereby this enemy would be removed. From our side when in a sore trial we may well think it is high time for the Lord to deliver, but we are admonished by our Saviour to await the Lord's time. See what He told His brethren after the flesh. "My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready," JOH 7:3-6.
As our Saviour approached His dread hour, which the Father had appointed from eternity, He said, "The hour is come," JOH 12:23. This teaches us that our time of suffering is very short by comparison to an eternity of joy, which is the believer's reward.
To our estimation and feelings our trials may seem long; however, God's Word does not speak of our endurance in terms of centuries, or even years in this regard, but of moments. The word "patience" in our text means to cheerfully endure as we are taught in PSA 30:4-5, "Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
The Scriptures regard all the sorrows of our whole life as but one night of darkness - which turns to gladness in the morning of the resurrection. 2CO 4:15-17 says, "For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." Amen.
O Saviour, whose almighty word
O Sacred Spirit, who didst brood
O Trinity of love and pow'r,