Photo by Annie Spratt
And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
Hebrews 6:15 NIV
I remember seeing this verse in Hebrews and changing my perspective on how I read the story of Abraham in Genesis. I saw it with new eyes. Where I couldn’t see God speaking concerning the promise, I saw patience having its work in Abraham. Today we are encouraging ourselves with his story.
Abraham waited patiently
Speaking concerning Abraham’s wait for the promise of a son. When we read the story of Abraham in Genesis we might miss this. We might not see him waiting patiently. We see him asking God about the promise (Genesis 15). We see him and Sarah trying to help God by providing a son for themselves (Genesis 16). We also see him trying to convince God to choose Ishmael as his heir instead (Genesis 17). We might not see him waiting patiently when we look at all these situations. Nonetheless, we are told he did wait patiently, not (perfectly) but patiently.
Between God speaking on the promise and Abraham receiving the promise-Genesis 12-21, life happens. Abraham goes on with life. When we are told he waited patiently, it doesn’t mean that he never did anything else. He went on with what he knew to do.
In our wait for what God has promised, let us not forget to enjoy our lives in the present. We can be doing what we know to do. We can be living life to the fullness. Waiting doesn’t mean we put a stop to life, it means while we wait we carry on with life. Waiting here is active rather than passive. We are actively pursuing the promises of God by faith while not forgetting to live life in the now.
By faith and patience
We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Hebrews 6:12
We are exhorted not to become spiritually lazy, but to make sure we imitate the example of those before us who through faith.. and patience inherited the promises.
I remember as a new believer making up my mind that I was going to believe God with all of my heart for every promise He had given to me. I was sure because I had faith I was going to receive these promises. I had faith, but it wasn’t enough to receive the promises because it also required patience.
This verse showed me that even though I had the faith part right, I needed to work on learning to patiently wait on what I firmly believed God for. Faith is not complete without patience. When we have believed, we also have to wait patiently until the promise is fulfilled.
Allow patience to have its work
And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [ in your faith], lacking in nothing. James 1:4 AMP
Patience is simultaneously interchanged with perseverance and endurance in Scripture. Sometimes it’s called patient endurance.
I love how Romans 5:3-4 paints it, And not only this, but[ with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship( distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance and endurance, proven character( spiritual maturity) and proven character, hope …
Patience can only be developed through difficulties. It cannot come from anything else. This is what James means by let patience have its perfect work (we cannot pray for patience, it has to be developed in us). Patience has a purpose- it’s what God uses to develop character in us. When we have faith but lack character we cannot be good stewards of God’s promises in our lives. So, while we patiently wait, he works on our inner man and prepares us to receive what He has promised us.
We also wait in hope
We can define hope as a joyful expectation of good. This is what biblical hope is. We aren’t just wishing but there is a joyful and confident expectation that God is up to do good in our lives.
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait eagerly for it with patience and composure. Romans 8:24
Again patience is repeated. Even as we eagerly wait in hope, we wait for it patiently. And this is what Abraham did, as he believed God for the promise, he allowed patience to have its perfect work. He allowed God to develop character in him for 25 years. He patiently waited in hope until he received the promise.
We wait until we receive the promise
We can be tempted to tell God when the process should end. We can get angry at how long things are taking.
Maybe you have served God in your youth and now find yourself still single in your 30s. Perhaps you received a dream in your early 20s, now in your 40s, you still haven’t seen its fulfillment. Perhaps you have carried a promise for children for a long time and still don’t have the promise. Maybe you have waited a long time for that business to flourish but it hasn’t happened yet.
I don’t know what our specific waiting situation is. However, I can assure you, If you are on a faith journey, you are most probably waiting on God for something. We all are waiting on a promise or promises from God. you are not alone sis.
Don’t quit because it is taking too long. Abraham didn’t quit, he didn’t grow weary in waiting, He allowed patience to do its work in him and he received the promise. Don’t short-circuit the process of God perfecting you in faith. The promise will be worth it.
Sis, be encouraged! Hold firmly to the promise and keep waiting patiently until you received what has been promised!
4 thoughts on “RECEIVING THE PROMISE”
Amen! Good, on-time read. Life goes on as I wait and hope! 🙂 Thanks!
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Sure! …Life goes on as we wait patiently:) Glad you enjoyed Ellie, God bless you❤️
A very encouraging word Lucy. As I read this I was thinking if a friend who has been waiting years to find the man Hid has chosen for her. She feels overlooked by God a bit and her patience is definitely being tested. When I get the opportunity I will share this with her.
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Thank you Manu! Will be praying for her that God would quicken that fella😀 so he can find her, and in the meantime, that God would so mightly grace her that she would be fulfilled in Him even as she waits.
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