With regard to the connection between faith and patience, many believers are “waiting on God’ for what is already available, what they should be thanking Him for. In truth when you have a word from God, waiting is part of the faith process to claim the promise: ‘wait for it, because it will surely come’ Hab.2:3. However, waiting patiently for God’s promise is done after we have done His will Heb.10:36. What is that will? To believe Him, being ‘fully persuaded’ of His word.
The student of Abraham’s faith walk, as a veritable example of how faith works, may wonder if the 25 yr wait for Isaac to be born was God’s plan. Other questions are raised in my mind:
* Was the machination that resulted in the birth of Ishmael God’s plan?
* Can Abraham’s agreement with Sarah” s plot to sire a child by Hagar, the bond-woman, be considered the action of one who still believed God?
* Did this action give glory to God?
My answer to all these questions is: No.
I believe Abraham’s action was an admission that Sarah’s womb was barren; a sign that he had lost hope in her ability to procreate.
God cannot bring His promise to pass until you are fully persuaded of it. You receive all according to your faith Mt.9:29. Whereas believing God is a state of the heart, every thought, word and action must align with what the heart believes, that the promise be received.
The three Hebrew boys believed God and refused to bow to the image the king set up. They chose the furnace, even after it was heated seven times Dan.3:16-18. Jesus waited for them in the fire.
The Centurion believed Jesus was sent from God, asked that He only send His word, loaded with authority and power, to heal his servant. It was so ‘that same hour’ Mt.8:13.
Abraham believed God, but went along with Sarah’s plan.
I believe the couple received the promise of Isaac when Abraham was fully persuaded. He sat at the door of his tent in expectant mode and received divine visitation Gen.18:1. He was adjudged ready to receive Godly seed when he:
* Believed God, knew that He is able to give life to the dead, and call ‘into existence the things that do not exist’ Rom.4:17;
* Kept hope alive, against all odds, even with passage of time v.18;
* Did not allow the state of his body and Sarah’s womb to weaken his faith v.19;
* Did not waiver concerning the promise v.20a;
* Gave glory to God, as if the promise was already received v.20b;
* Was fully persuaded that God was able to do what He promised v.21.
Perhaps when we think we wait on God for the fulfilment of a promise, it is He who waits on our faith to kick in. To get the promise, we need believe God, keep hope alive against all odds, grow strong in faith, and give glory to Him as though the promise is already received.
These are signs of being ‘fully persuaded’!