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The fruit of patience

February 16, 2009

by Pastor Mike Newsom, Lamson Evangelical Free Church, Dassel

God promised to make Abraham a father of nations. The son through whom this promise was to be fulfilled wasn’t born until Abraham was 100 years old, and his wife, Sarah was 90.

The covenant promise to Abraham was to be fulfilled through his son, Isaac, and then through Isaac’s son, Jacob. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. He had 12 sons, and through them came the nation called Israel.

Later, through Jesus Christ, the Gentile nations began to pour into the Kingdom of God. This multitude of nations, both Jews and Gentiles, were the fulfilled promise of God to Abraham, but did Abraham live to see it?

When Abraham died, Jacob was only 15 years old. Abraham did not live to see the promise fulfilled, but died still believing God because he was a man of faith.

When unbelief is asked how long he will wait for God, he replies, “I will wait a day, or a week, or a month, or a year.” When faith is asked how long he will wait for God, he responds, “I will wait until He comes.”

If we are to follow the building plan of God, we must abandon the impatience of modernity. We live in a generation that is standing at the microwave drumming its fingers because it is taking too long for water to boil.

When Jesus fails to work according to man’s timetable, some people look for another way. They often still claim Christ as savior, but attempt to speed things up by using the methods of this fallen world.

As we look at the failed lending institutions, and stockbrokers like Bernie Madoff, we should begin to tremble at following their ways.

For them, the end justified the means. The end for them was earning the most money they could in the shortest time – no matter what illegal risks they had to take and no matter who they hurt. They sought shortcuts to achieve their goals, and their financial house of cards fell down on top of them when the economy weakened.

When people become impatient with God’s slow process, they often abandon His ways and look for another way.

In Luke 8:15, we learn that those who believe God’s Word with an honest heart will bear fruit, if they are patient.

What kind of a farmer would plant an apple tree on Monday and think that he will eat apples on Tuesday? A farmer plows the ground in hope, he fertilizes in hope, he pulls weeds in hope, and he looks for the rains that are out of his control – this he also does in hope. Then he patiently waits in hope for the crop to grow and mature.

It is important that God’s people understand His slow growth concept so that they don’t become discouraged and give up. If we become impatient when we do not have instant growth in evangelism or in sanctification, we abandon God’s Word and look for another way. Other ways are shortcuts to disaster.

Galatians 6:9: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”