Summary: God has a purpose and a destiny for each one of us and if we want to see His will and purpose fulfilled in our lives then it takes the power of patience...
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3. knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Patience is a work of perfection. Without patience, we can not inherit the promise. It is a requirement to seeing our faith fulfilled. It is the enabler to our faith, the ability to hold on to our faith when all seems lost. It allows our faith to endure. In other words, we will not give up our faith in the face of whatever comes our way, no matter how long it takes.
Strong’s Bible Dictionary says that patience is cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy:
Hopeful endurance, I like that.
I train bonsai as a hobby, and sometimes it takes many years or even decades to get a desired result. You have to look ahead in time and imagine the outcome of your work.
I’ve had people tell me many times that I just don’t have the patience to do that kind of thing. I think we can honestly say that patience is one of those things that many Christians don’t have the patience to wait for. In all seriousness however, the truth is we don’t have to. If you are in Christ, you have patience. The ability to walk in it is greatly up to us. The ability to stand and keep on standing is on the inside of you. You have to yield to it. Some people don’t like to hear things like that, but God’s Word is God’s Word, and it is the truth. The truth is what will set us free and cause us to have assurance in the midst of turmoil. As we just read, “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” So how could patience have its perfect work if we don’t have it. If we don’t have it then God would be unjust in telling us to let it have its perfect work wouldn’t He? God is not unjust, and He has provided all that we need to do whatever He has called us to do. We have it, and we need to understand that if we won’t yield to it then we have no one to blame but ourselves. God wants us to succeed, that’s why He is telling us to LET patience have its perfect work. If WE won’t let it, IT won’t have its perfect work. This is not because God doesn’t want the best for us, but because we are too stubborn many times to yield to Him. This is really a form of rebellion on our part, and can thwart the plan of God in our lives. It takes our cooperation with God to bring His will to pass in our lives, for He will not over ride our will. If He could, don’t you know we wouldn’t find ourselves in many of the messes we end up in. Many times, it is only through His divine mercy that we end up not being totally sunk in life’s situations. I can say that is true in my own life, and I am grateful that He has preserved me. What an awesome God we serve.
He has a better way for us to go through life than tripping, and stumbling, and messing up just hoping He will be there to pick up the pieces when we get through the completion of OUR will. Thank God, He is there, but how much better it is to stand fast in His promises and see the end result of HIS will. This is where the patience comes into play.
The book of Hebrews says this… Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12. that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
If you are not a person that has allowed patience to have its work in you, you must know that it is not to late. You can start right where you are, just as so many of us have had to do and begin the process. As I’ve already said, this takes our cooperation. He has not left us hanging, He is always there to help and show us the way. Let’s start by looking at where patience comes from and why it is so vitally necessary to fulfill God’s purpose and inherit the promise. There is a pay off for God’s people, who through faith and patience stand fast in His promises. If He didn’t want us to receive it He wouldn’t have told us to let it have its perfect work in us. He has invested an incredible amount to redeem us and see us restored to His perfect creation, so lets cooperate with Him, we can’t do it on our own.