I was looking forward to preparing a delicious meal for my family until I opened the spice drawer and realized one of the main ingredients was missing. Without it, I couldn’t make what I’d planned.
It’s amazing that just one small ingredient can make or break an entire meal. When it comes to the recipe of faith, there is one ingredient that often gets overlooked: patience. During seasons when our faith is put to the test, this is the one thing that will carry us through.
The Bible is filled with stories about men and women known for their great faith: great—due not to their own merit, but due to the greatness of the God in whom they placed their faith. Such people had an intimate knowledge of God that enabled them to walk with confidence in His promises. They were so sure of His faithfulness that they were willing to wait a lifetime and beyond to see the fulfillment of His Words. Their faith was accompanied by patience.
We will develop the same patience to persevere in faith when we look to “the author and finisher of our faith.” When we look to Him, we are reminded that it is not so much our faith that keeps us, as it is His faithfulness. An understanding of His faithfulness will fuel our willingness to wait for the fulfillment of His promises.
Abraham was promised that he would father many nations, yet he did not see the birth of his son until he was old in years. Joseph was given dreams of how God would do great things through him—but before his dreams became a reality, he endured rejection, enslavement, false accusations, and imprisonment. Moses asked to see God’s glory, yet his prayer was not answered until years after his death when he visited Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. David was anointed as King, but he had to live under the ungodly rule of Saul before he could wear the crown. The disciples heard from Jesus’ own mouth words of the coming kingdom, but they endured severe persecution and even death without seeing the fullness of the kingdom come.
In these dark days, we’re not only going to need faith to stand firm until the end. We’re going to need the key ingredient of patience. And patience will only come through an intimate knowledge of God. When we know Him intimately, we will be sure of His faithfulness. And He who is faithful is able to keep us.
“…imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:12)
Photo Credit: chilli-con-carne-recipe | deepdarksquid | Flickr