Summary: God often asks us to wait and trust Him that He will come through and that patience will strengthen our faith for the tasks ahead.
A Patient Faith
Griffith Baptist Church – 1/25/09
Key verse: Hebrews 11:30 - By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
Premise: God often asks us to wait and trust Him that He will come through and that patience will strengthen our faith for the tasks ahead.
A man was walking through a supermarket with a screaming baby in the shopping cart. A woman nearby noticed that time and again the man would calmly say: “Keep calm, Albert. Keep calm, Albert.” Finally, in admiration for the man’s patience as the child continued to wail, the woman walked up to him and said: “Sir, I must commend you for your patience with baby Albert.” To which the man replied, drawing himself up: “Madam, I am Albert!”
Our God is a patient God:
o He is described as longsuffering
o Look at this world and you can see the patience of God
o He includes patience for us as one of the Fruits of the Spirit
Here in Joshua 6:1-20, we have the famous story of the march around Jericho (read text)
What would you think if you were told you were going to go into the promised land and then had to perform this little drama to conquer the first city encountered in that promised land?
Here we are considering the importance of patience in our faith and three lessons we can glean to help us on our faith journey.
1. Patient Faith Follows God’s Direction
In a small town, the volunteer fire department’s telephone was answered by the policeman on duty, who would in turn sound the fire whistle to rally the volunteers to duty. One Saturday morning, the town chief of police, had just come on duty when the fire department phone rang. He picked up the phone and said, "Fire Department." A voice on the other end of the line frantically said, "Send the fire truck!" Then the caller immediately slammed the phone down. The police chief stood stunned, not knowing what to do. In a few minutes the phone rang again. Quickly he picked it up and said again, "Fire Department!" Again the voice cried, "Send the fire truck!" Again the caller immediately hung up. Realizing that someone’s house was possibly at stake, he rushed outside and scanned the sky to see if he could see smoke and therefore send the fire trucks in that direction. While outside he also devised a plan as to how to keep the caller from hanging up so quickly if she called back. Sure enough the phone rang again and he went running inside. Picking up the phone he quickly asked, "Where’s the fire?" The lady on the other end screamed, "In the kitchen," and slammed the phone down again. (James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 110.) Directions are a must for our lives
A. The people of Israel were given simple instructions for victory
i. March around the city one time for six days straight
ii. On the seventh day they were to march around the city seven times
iii. On the seventh circle, the people were to shout and the Lord would give them the city
B. Four important aspects for a clearer understanding of God’s direction:
i. God has a clearer view of the circumstances than we do – Isaiah 46:9-10 - 9Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
ii. God’s knowledge is complete and His understanding infinite
a. Knowledge - 1 John 3:20 – For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
b. Understanding infinite - Psalms 147:4-5 - 4He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. 5Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
iii. God knows what approach will give Him the greatest honor
a. This is worship – ascribing worth to our God for He is worthy
b. After all, He is the creator and sustainer of all things
c. Psalms 29:2 - Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
iv. God knows the best way to mature our faith
a. How well do you know yourself?
b. God knows every detail about you:
• Psalms 139:3 - Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
• He knows every aspect of every moment of your day