The Patient Inherit the Promises

“Jesus, please no rain.”

My three year old son’s lake day dreams of fishing and boating were washing away with the downpour of rain.

Barely a breath later, he concluded, “Mommy, God didn’t hear me. It’s still raining.”

“Baby, sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers right away. We have to be patient as we wait for Him to answer.”

You’ve gotta love those moments when God makes you explain truth in childlike terms more-so for yourself than for your child.

Realizing that I had the patience of a three year old was as dreadful as downing a spoonful of Robitussin, but it was the bottom line truth.

When I get off my knees and open my eyes, I expect to see God’s hands extending the answer to my prayers on a silver platter. With that fancy green stuff sprinkled on top (God doesn’t skimp when He dishes out answered prayers!).

In a society that’s so accustomed to pronto and presto, patience is further from our vocabulary than ever.

But it is patience that possesses a sweet promise in Scripture.

The timeless Word paints a clear picture: Patient endurance finds favor with God (1 Peter 2:23, NIV).

If we want to see God’s favor in our lives, we must be willing to wait, to patiently endure the time between God’s whispered promises to our hearts and His willful provision in our lives.

This patience isn’t the same as waiting in line at the grocery store check out without complaining (sigh! I can actually do that in my own strength. On a good day. As long as my kids aren’t with me and I’m not running late.).

No, this biblical patience is supernatural, a holding onto faith for a dream or miracle for years when heaven is seemingly silent.

Do you ache for the promises of God, dear sister, but find yourself discouraged in the wait? Questioning if His promises really pertain to you? Me too.

Here’s what Jesus is encouraging you, and me, to do today:

Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:12, NIV). {imitate} to use as a model.

At first glance, the stories in the Word appear to unfold so quickly. We can read a couple of pages and finish someone’s entire story, from calling to completion within minutes.

We must remember that our few minutes of reading often encompass years of someone’s living. Furthermore, the pages don’t have room to record the thousands of days that these men and women were faithful to God in the waiting.

If we truly study the Word-using it as our model for how God has worked in the past and how He will work in the future-our hearts will be encouraged to patiently endure the season of waiting in which we find ourselves.

Hebrews 6 goes on to give us the very model it beckons us to imitate.

After waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised (Hebrews 6:15, NIV).

I don’t know about you, but Abraham’s story redefines my idea of “waiting patiently.”

He waited one hundred years to have a child with his wife.

More specifically, the time between God promising Abram a son (Gen. 15:4) and the birth of Isaac (Gen. 21:2) was at least fourteen years.

That’s 168 months, 5,110 days, or 7.35 million minutes, depending on which measurement of time you use.

We’ll never have a transcript of Abraham’s thoughts showing how many times he
questioned, doubted, felt defeated or downright heartbroken.

The Word does include Abraham’s attempt to fulfill the promise in his own strength with a woman who was not his wife. Thankfully, grace whispers that waiting patiently is not the same as waiting perfectly.

But when observing his life as a whole, Abraham was found faithful. He stayed the course. Managed to keep the light of hope flickering in the darkest of nights.

God requires us to couple our faith with patience because patience authenticates our faith. Patience is the evidence of our resolve to walk in not-by-sight kind of way. This kind of faith is what pleases our God.

And that is why it is the patient who inherit the promises, my dear sister.

God doesn’t make us wait because He loves to watch us wrestle with our belief and struggle with our fleshly desires. Waiting is part of His plan because patience allows God’s perfecting work to pan out in our hearts.

As I look back on the times I have waited on God to fulfill His promises to me, I see that it’s the minute by minute choice to believe-the patience of my heart as the perfecting process of faith unfolds- that matured me.

Every minute I waited a reminder of how dependent I am on the Father.

Every minute softening my heart in humility.

God doesn’t make us wait because He loves to watch us wrestle with our belief and struggle with our fleshly desires.

Waiting is part of His plan because patience allows God’s perfecting work to pan out in our hearts.

Every minute you wait for your husband is a reminder that it’s not about your beauty, your personality, or what you have to offer. It’s about your dependency on God to bring him to you.

Every minute you wait for the plus sign on the pregnancy test is a reminder that it’s not a womb issue. It’s about a Maker who sees the perfect moment for your motherhood.

Every minute you wait and work toward your dream is a reminder that it’s not about your talent, but about His timing, the divine appointment which will point all the glory toward Him.

As our faith is tested in today’s minutes, let’s resolve to imitate patience.

For it is the patient who inherit the promises, dear sister.

It was a long drive to the lake for a three year old, but as we pulled up to the house, the rain stopped. My three year old was happy. And me? My heart renewed its hope once again.

About Alanna

Alanna Smallwood is wife to Shane, her quiet, steady source of strength; Mother to two precious boys, ages three and one; Singer, in the car mostly, but also with her church choir; Teacher by trade, though she currently focuses her attention on raising her boys; Baker with a love for anything chocolate; Valuer of honesty and loyalty in relationships; Servant of Jesus. Alanna loves His Church and longs to see her grow in faith and maturity.