THE VALUE OF PERSISTENT PATIENCE
By: Norm Rasmussen
Has your faith been painfully tested lately? God
leads people to this Precious Testimonies outreach regularly whose faith
is being greatly tried. We believe part of why God has called us
to this ministry is to help people going through painful trials to keep
a proper, eternal perspective on what is happening to them. We thank
each of you who have contributed in some way for helping us to help
others in this journey of faith each of us is on.
Having our faith tested is not something that takes
heaven by surprise, by the way. Heaven keeps filling with fresh
souls daily who has passed from this life to the next … anticipating the
“heavenly city” God’s Word promises is awaiting for those who have
placed their trust in Jesus Christ and God’s Word to be pleasing to
By earth’s way of measuring distances, that
“heavenly city” might stretch across vast galaxies. To those who have
yet to arrive there, size makes no difference, does it? “Just let me
get there!” is the cry of our lips … especially for those who may be
going through a severe trial in their life.
God addresses a very important revelation He wants
us to get a handle on in this journey of faith each of us is on. In
listing a few of the “Old Testament hero’s of the faith” in Hebrews
Chapter 11, let’s zero in on one of the most well known couples: Abraham
and Sarah. Starting with Hebrews 11:8-16, let’s refresh ourselves in what
God has for us to mediate on:
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was
called to go out to the place which he would afterward receive as an
inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise
as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the
heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has
foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
By faith Sarah herself also received strength
to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age,
because she judged Him faithful who had promised.
Therefore from one man, and him as good as
dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude –
innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
These all died in faith, not having
received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of
them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims
on the earth.
For those who say such things declare plainly
that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that
country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to
But now they desire a better, that is, a
heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,
for He has prepared a city for them.
Let’s digress a moment and imagine what it must be
like for Abraham and Sarah right now in that heavenly kingdom – that
glorious, heavenly “City of God.” Daily, new people arrive there from
earth that had placed their trust in Jesus Christ to save them of their
sins before dying. What joy must enter their hearts when they consider
what may have happened had they quit trusting God to lead them to this
Imagine, if you can, all of the mind struggles and
conflict Abraham may have battled as he trudged across desolate
wasteland while here on earth, searching for his “promised land” that he
believed God had promised him.
One of his grandchildren cries out, “Hey Grandpa
Abe, we about there yet?! How much longer?! You keep telling us to
stop and pitch the tents -- pack up and move -- pitch the tents and
graze the livestock -- pack up and move -- pitch the tents again. Do
you think it’s possible you’re not really hearing from God afterall?
This is really getting old, you know.”
Or how about late at night while Sarah is lying by
Abe in bed. “Honey … you know a lot of the family thinks you’ve gone
off the deep end, don’t you? I don’t think you have, but is there
something we can do to keep the family from so much doubt and
bickering? How much longer does God expect us to have to put up with
Maybe you’ve sort of assumed that Abraham and Sarah
were such pillars of faith that they never battled doubt about whether
their trust was really ever going to be honored, but how can we be so
certain of that? They were human, like us, right? Sarah and Abraham
both grew impatient with not receiving God’s promise child to them so
they decided to “help God out a little” by having a child through
consensual fornication. Can we simply assume they never grew impatient
in their journey to find the “promised land?”
Those of us who try to communicate spiritual things
to help others on their spiritual journey to the “heavenly city”
sometimes minimize a vital component when we speak of the importance of
having trust and faith in God, in His Word, and in His specific will for
our lives. We minimize patience. We minimize the crucial
importance of mixing patience with our trust and faith.
Patience is getting harder and harder for many
people to get hold of, simply because society seems to be making it that
way. The way of the world is to make things faster and quicker. In
America, we have become what is known as the “microwave nation.” Try to
hold a three hour sermon in church on Sunday morning and most chairs
will be empty the following Sunday.
Jesus asks a stunning question recorded in Luke
18:7-8 (NKJV): “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry
out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you
that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man
comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
Through unction from the Holy Spirit, I believe God
wants us to realize it is a lack of patience that will greatly
contribute in strangling people’s trust and faith in God as we draw
closer to the end of this earth age, just prior to Jesus returning to
It is becoming easier and easier for believers to
put a timetable on our patience. It is becoming easier and easier for a
demon to whisper in our ear that if God doesn’t do what we’re trusting
Him to do on our time frame … then either it isn’t His will, or
our trust has been in vain.
Warning: Our trust and faith is as
fragile as a loose strand of straw in a category-5 hurricane without
adding the glue of patience with it.
The Book of James
clues us into the importance of having
in our trusting. Of all the things the Holy Spirit has to say to us in
the Book of James, keenly observe the
believers are to get joyous about when their faith is being tried.
James Chapter 1, verse 2-3 … the Holy Spirit wastes no time in hitting
us right between the eyes with this nugget of “survival” wisdom:
My brethren, count it all joy when you
fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith
I believe the Holy
Spirit wants us to dissect this nugget of scripture, so let’s do so:
“The testing of our faith is designed by God to produce
in us.” Why,
...we might wonder at first thought.
And could God’s
answer, at least in part, be: “Because
impatience is one of the best tools the devil has of shipwrecking your
faith and trust, that’s why.
James Chapter 1:5
tells us how to get wisdom from God. We’ll write out His method of
going about it, but add one key insight that will add some clarity to
it, we hope:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask
of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be
given to him …
(but be willing to be extremely
with God in waiting for Him to give you that wisdom. Sometimes it takes
much longer than what we would like, to get it!).
Then the very next
verse gives us a sobering warning that is sometimes difficult for us to
grab ahold of in asking God for wisdom about a given matter:
But let him ask in faith, with no
doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed
by the wind.
Every time we ask
God for wisdom in a given matter, a demon is going to be right there
trying to get us to be
in our waiting to receive that wisdom from God. Count on it. What will
be the number one means that a demon is going to try to get you to
become impatient? Doubt.
Doubt is the most effective means Satan has of short-circuiting what God
wants to give us. Peter learned that quickly while walking on top of
the water. When you pray for something, and see no answer right away in
what you are asking and/or trusting God for, one of Satan’s demons is
going to work the “doubt angle” every way it can.
“It’s not God’s will for you to
have that – maybe?,”
the demon impresses upon our mind. “That’s
just a selfish request, don’t you suppose? You know God doesn’t grant
selfish requests, don’t you?”
is another one of
those subtle “evil weeds of doubt” the demons have in their arsenal to
sow in the garden of your mind.
“If it was God’s will for you to
have that, He would have given it to you by now, don’t you think? You
suppose God doesn’t really care about your situation … afterall?”
Demons are very
proficient at making a statement of truth, or a half-truth, then putting
poisonous fertilizer on the end of it by asking what seems to be such a
harmless little question, so you don’t focus on the poisonous weed of
doubt that just got planted seconds before in your mind.
Carefully let the
Holy Spirit deposit into the depths of your soul and spirit the wisdom
God gives us in this one little scripture verse:
“…that you do not become sluggish, but
imitate those who through faith and patience
inherit the promises.
– Hebrews 6:12
The wisdom of
applying patience with our faith demonstrates to God that we’re truly
earnest in receiving help from God.
Faith will give
you the drive to let the Lord win the battle for you and grant you a
will keep you persevering in your faith until your opponent is overcome,
or until you arrive at your destination, so you can receive your
wisdom. Patience is one’s willingness to rest in God’s timing and in
God’s ways of doing what He chooses to do in our lives, because afterall,
He knows what will most effectively equip us to ever-prepare us to walk
into the fullness of our eternal destiny, doesn’t He?
In the parable of
the sower, Jesus points out the great value of patience:
“And the ones
that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and
are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit
to maturity. But the one that fell on the good ground are those who,
having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear
fruit with patience.”
Luke 8:14-15 NKJV
When Jesus answers
questions from His disciples about the end-times In Luke 21:16-19, Jesus
says, “You will be betrayed
even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will send
some of you to your death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s
sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your
patience possess your
tells us we serve the God of patience:
For whatever things were
written before were written for our learning, that we through the
patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the
God of patience
and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to
Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As the anti-christ
gains influence in the end-times, God has this to say in Revelation
13:8-10 NKJV: And all who
dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not
been written in the Book of
Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has
an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into
captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword.
Here is the
and the faith of the saints.
Many of the trials
we are going through right now may very well be equipping us to face
even more severe trials in our future. None of us know just how
precious mixing patience
with our faith in our trials right now may greatly lessen the pain in
trials that may visit us down the road, or others who hear of our
testimonies of patience and faith here on earth
perhaps long after we have gone to heaven.
Persevere in your
patient trusting in God. Psalms 37:7 tells us:
Rest in the Lord, and wait
patiently for Him; Do
not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who
brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do
not fret – it only causes harm.
worrying … is one of the devil’s most useful devices to trick us into
our patience being eroded. Worry and anxiety is cancer to patience.
admonishes us again if we’re patient with God, blessings are bound to
follow: I waited
patiently for the
Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up
out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a
rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth –
Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the
Ron Thomas, a
precious brother who just finished serving his time at one of the state
prisons we are privileged to minister at used to say often to the other
inmates: “God’s time may
not be my time, but God is always
That is the proclamation of a very wise disciple of Jesus Christ who has
been in the “grueling incarceration school of patience” for a good
number of years of his adult life (who has touched the lives of many
other inmates while he was there, we might add).
One of the best
things that has helped me to remain patient when I get anxious for God
to move on my behalf of something I’m trusting Him for is a little plaque
that hangs on our wall in our bedroom. It’s a picture of the Grand
Canyon. The only caption on it reads:
God’s Work Takes Time.
takes time, and often takes dogged determination doesn’t it? Trials and
tribulation is the hammer and chisel God is using on us to make us
something far more precious and beautiful than the Grand Canyon.
Thank you to each
of you for all you are doing in
helping others through their trials they are facing. In closing …
here is a final reminder of the priceless value of persistence and
immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your
labor is not in vain in the Lord.
-- 1 Cor.