By - Virgil CrookPart 1 of 2
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have NEED OF PATIENCE, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:35-36.
Speaking briefly on the subject on which everybody is an expert. And that is PATIENCE. Nearly everybody is an expert on patience. Isn’t that right? I heard a young person say one time that he had learned patience. Look at what he said. “I have learned patience.” What do you think? Can we really truthfully say that we have learned patience? Or is it perhaps a little wiser to say “I am learning patience,” whether you are ten years old or 110. I believe when we analyze it that we really have to say, “I am learning patience.”
I believe that as long as we are in this life we are still learning patience. I know there comes a time when we learn a lot of things and perhaps we know HOW to learn patience. What happens is that we learn patience in one area of our life. That may be true. Perhaps we can say that as far as one area of our life is concerned or even perhaps several areas of our life. Perhaps we can say I have learned it in ‘this particular thing.’ What about other areas of our lives?
Notice how the Apostle Paul states it here, “For ye have need of Patience...” Now in the natural there are some people who are really naturally patient. This is part of their makeup: they are patient. But that is only a natural patience. And that patience, one day, will come to an end. Sooner or later, even a patient person loses their patience. You know, by your own experience, there comes a time when that patience just seems to end. But what God wants to work in our lives is divine patience, real patience, true patience; and we all have NEED of patience. Of course, as we know, that is the reason God allows difficulties in our lives.
ATTITUDE OF FAITH
Really, patience is an attitude of faith. Real patience expresses this attitude. “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Ecclesiastes 7:8. Here we see the importance of patience. Perhaps the proud in spirit can do many things, but it is better to be patient in spirit. Look at two exam-ales in Psalms that David gives us. “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” Psalm 37:7. You see we are so tempted to follow other examples and look at other people and see the seeming success they have, without really considering what God’s ways are.
The Psalmist exhorts us to “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Let Him do the work and that takes patience. In the natural it takes a lot of patience to raise children, for instance. Especially when they are just beginning to learn to do things, such as putting on their shoes, dressing themselves. You know you can do it a lot faster, couldn’t you? Well, that is the way it is also in the spiritual sense. We think that we can do it faster, do it better, but the Word exhorts us, from cover to cover, I believe: to ‘wait patiently’ for Him. You might think you can do better but in the Final analysis that is not true.
DO IT RIGHT
God is the One who can really do things right. We cannot do anything right; as human beings in a spiritual sense, we cannot do anything right. We may feel like that a lot of times. We have all had days like that when nothing went right. That is the way it is every day, really, in the spiritual realm. We need to learn to rest in the Lord. Wait for Him patiently. “Fret not thyself because of him who prospers in the way.”
How often is that the case in our lives. We see how somebody else, by some unscrupulous means or some other source, prospers and we are not prospering. Well, wait patiently on the Lord and He will do it. He will do it His way and there won’t be any sorrow. When God does it His way there is no sorrow, but when we do it our way we may seemingly succeed, but then later there is a sorrow.
HE’S PATIENT WITH US
“I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry” - Psalm 40:1. This is David’s experience. I waited for the Lord! The Lord is so patient with us. Have you ever thought about that, how patient the Lord is with us? Then why can’t we be patient with Him? But we are not too patient sometimes. We want God to hurry up, to do it our way, do it quickly. God has patience with us and we should have patience with Him. David said, “I waited patiently on the Lord.” Instead of taking things into his own hands he waited patiently for the Lord. That way the Lord works it out right.
As we said, patience is really an attitude of faith. Nothing is happening on the outside. At least nothing appears to be happening, and yet you know that God is going to do it. That is FAITH! And that Is PATIENCE! Impatience is simply the works of our own flesh, strength. How many things do we do in our own strength?
I think of the time that the disciples of Christ were out on the water and they were trying to row hard to get to where they wanted to go. They were sweating and toiling. They were doing it in their own strength. Jesus was watching, then, walking on the water, came into the boat and all was calm. Many other experiences we could relate of the disciples: the time they were trying to catch fish. They fished all night: they put the net to the left, to the right, trying all kinds of different ways and nothing was happening. In the morning when Jesus came, He said, just put your net over here on the RIGHT side and you can catch all the fish you want. And how simple it was, and how often is that an example of our experience? We toil and we sweat and we try but it is just our own effort and nothing comes of it. We realize that there is only one way for patience to come.
Part 2 in May issue – The Way To Obtain.