“So let us not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

-Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

In the American culture we have adopted the “fast food mentality”. We want things in life to come as quickly as possible with the least amount of work required to get it. We have fast food restaurants, fast cars, fast ways to get cash. Fast, fast, fast, now, now, now, and faster. We don’t want to invest any time to make ourselves a wholesome meal, or save up for better quality. Today, I’m here to tell you that some of the best things we can receive in life come by being patient.

Faith goes hand in hand with patience. It is your tested faith that produces patience according to James 1:3. And in verse 4, it says to let patience have its work, so that you can be perfect and complete, lacking nothing! Perfect? Complete? Lack nothing? Yes please!

Now faith in God is based on a relationship with God. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) How will we hear from God if we never talk to God? And as we learned yesterday, Jesus – praise The Lord – made it possible to have a relationship with Him.

Let me ask you this: How do you suppose that Abraham, and anyone of the people of faith listed in the Bible were able to have such world changing faith? Say this with me: relationship. Let’s look at Abraham, whom the Bible calls the father of our faith:

Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. (Romans 4:13 NLT)

Relationships are like planting a garden: seed, time, and harvest. You cannot expect an entire garden to bloom overnight. You have to be patient and tend to it in order for it to grow. It is the same way with natural relationships. You meet someone, you get to know them, and then the relationship begins. The best relationships, the strongest relationships, come with people that you’ve spent time with and were patient in getting to know. As time goes on and the relationship slowly begins to develop, you can begin to trust them and feel comfortable around them. Being patient over time is what makes a relationship successful. 

Have you ever met someone, and right away you begin to splurge your whole life story to them? You may have said, “Best friend! Right there!” However, the minute something bad happens they are the first to leave you. Today, we tend to jump right in and open ourselves up. This is generally how bad relationships are built. The harvest of the relationship is determined by the time and patience you had in getting to know them so that the relationship can be healthy…or perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Patience with our everyday relationships is how our relationship with God is established! We must learn to run our lives by His timing and not our own. Running life based on His timing will allow you to live a life full of peace, joy, and happiness. Rushing and assuming that this is His will can sometimes lead you to the wrong path. Just because the door is open does not necessarily mean that it is from God. Patience will allow Him to show us exactly which doors we should go through in our lives. As we become patient and wait for Him to give us our next step, life will become stress and worry free; perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 

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Patience takes time; time to hear specifics. Pastor Steve says, “Let time have its authority.” So, I challenge you to allow the Father to speak to you and be patient in His timing. Practice small: Do not rush into any decision this week, like what to wear to school, what to eat, what to say, what to watch…or anything! Also, be patient with others! God’s level of patience never gives up. Practicing this kind of patience will produce a perfect work in you.

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“Lord, I thank You for being patient with me. I will be more patient with You and others, and wait for you to tell me when to move. I know that Your plan for my life is revealed when I am patient and allow You to do what needs to be done in the meant time! I trust that you’re working behind the scenes. I yield myself to Your will and not my own. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

-Spencer Shriver

5FA Intern