Devotional: Patient Faith
Recounting the story of Abraham, the author of Hebrews wrote that Abraham received what was promised to him from God after he waited patiently (Heb. 6:15). Many of our natural sensibilities are offended as we read these words. In a culture of unlimited access to answers and instant gratification, patience may seem like something to get rid of, something that just gets in the way of efficiency and timeliness, or something that is simply not “fast” enough. But these days we are faced with the reality of unwanted limitation because of the presence of COVID-19. We now have no choice but to sit in the tension that this limitation creates: wanting to have something, but being unable to have it.
But for Abraham, and for followers of Jesus, this is a tension that is not final. What Abraham knew is that although it is natural for humans to desire fulfillment in a ‘timely’ manner, God does not work on our time. Rather, he works outside of time altogether, and works in such a way that brings about the most blessing for his children and most glory for his name, no matter when or how it happens. Therefore, what God calls us to in this time is not ‘efficient’ faith but the ‘patient faith’ of Abraham. This faith rests in God rather than timing, and therefore the need for fulfillment to be instant evaporates.
Questions For Meditation
- What does it mean to be patient?
- Andrew Murray once wrote that “waiting is the great remedy of all of our needs.” What is it about waiting that “remedies” our needs? Why is waiting so important for followers of Jesus?
- What does it mean to build an altar as you wait? Where can you build an altar in your own life?
- What does it mean to wait for God “actively” rather than “passively”?
- What would it look like for you to trust God “step by step” in your own life?
- What does it mean to rest in the ‘until’? Why is having this rest crucial in being able to say no to things that would cause you to give up God’s promises in your life?
- What is a situation in your own life that requires patient faith in you? What would it look like for you to offer up patient faith to God in the midst of it?