Today as I was reading Hebrews chapter 6 something jumped out at me. Now, I've studied this passage before and wrote about the believer's need for solid food, what saving faith is and isn't, and about the abundant good news in this passage; but today one section jumped out at me more than ever before.
Why does our faith work?
My pastor has used the illustration of men walking on ice. Do they need faith to walk on the ice? Absolutely. But does their amount of faith keep them from falling through? Absolutely not. The thickness of the ice keeps them from falling through. Our faith is the same way. The amount of faith isn't near as important as what or who our faith is in.
Why does our patience work?
We are often left waiting for things. God has left us waiting on many things. So much of the Gospel is here but not yet. We are waiting and waiting patiently, but what makes our patience worth it?
Let's look at the life of Abraham.
"When God made His promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for Him to swear by, He swore by Himself, saying, 'I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.' And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised." Hebrews 6:13-15
Why did Abraham's patience work?
Well, if you know the story you know that Abraham's patience was as patient as we would think from a patriarch of the faith. Abraham was promised descendants that would come through his wife Sarah. So, Abraham waited patiently and stayed the course with Sarah even though she was very old, right? Wrong. Abraham took Sarah's servant Hagar and had a child with her that was not part of God's promise. Abraham and Sarah weren't patient, in fact Sarah laughed at the idea of her getting pregnant. Yet Sarah did conceive a son and through him, Isaac, a great nation was created.
So, why did Abraham's patience work if it was so not the definition of the word patience?
Abraham's patience worked because the one who made the promise always comes through. God swore by Himself that He would do it and there is nothing more sure than that. That, and that alone, is why Abraham's patience worked.
So, while we wait, and struggle to wait patiently, we must encourage ourselves by remembering who makes patience works. God has given us many amazing promises and all will be kept because "it is impossible for God to lie." Our receiving the goodness of the Lord has nothing to do with the quality of our patience. Our receiving the goodness of the Lord has everything to do with the location of our patience. If our waiting is in the Lord we have certainty.
This is not to say that God gives us everything we hope for, but it is without a question to say that God gives us everything He's promised.
Wait patiently on God because He never lies, He never fails and He always comes through. Root your patience in our promise keeping God today.