Patience And Its Work
A "patient continuance in well-doing" is well- pleasing to God and will secure the blessing at last, even life for evermore. "To them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life," (Romans 2:7). But like all courses that lead to good results, it is a course that is difficult, and implies something to endure. There would be no need for patience if all were sweet and refreshing; but there is need for patience, as all can testify who have laid hold of the hope set before us in the gospel. All is not sweet and refreshing, but much, and almost everything, the other way. We are in a dry and thirsty land wherein there is but an occasional streamlet (and that almost dry in its bed), to strengthen the weary traveller by the way.
It is written, "It is good that man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord." Doubtless it is good, but still trying, and perhaps good because trying. Our faith and patience are exercised in the attitude of waiting, and exercise of this kind gives spiritual strength and hardihood. "Tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope" (Romans 5:3-4). "We are saved by hope, but hope that is seen is not hope...but if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." (Rom.8:24) We "wait for the son of God from heaven" (1Thess.1:10). We are "looking for that blessed hope" (Titus 2:13) and our looking and waiting and hoping prepare us for taking part in the joy of those who are to say in that day, "Lo, this is our God: we have waited for Him....we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation" (Isaiah 25:9).
It is well to recognise this feature of our calling, that we "be not weary in well-doing." True it is that "hope deferred maketh the heart sick," but if we recognize the fact that a certain deferring of hope is part of our trial appointed of God, we shall be enabled to "endure as seeing him who is invisible." When we look back, we shall see that the same affliction was accomplished in all of whom God's approval is recorded. In no case is it more strikingly exemplified than in that of the man who is called "the friend of God," and who occupied the honourable position of father of the family whom God is begetting for Himself from among the sons of men.
Finally, let us look at a good example, as we keep on waiting in patience and well-doing. Abraham was called to leave the land of his nativity, and go to a country of which he was ignorant, with apparently no practical object. Obeying the command, he came to the land of Canaan and sojourned among the children of the land as a stranger. His sojourn was long and trying. He was promised the land for an inheritance, jointly with his seed, but had no information as to the time to which the promise referred, nor any indication for many years that he was to have a seed.
Christ was the seed promised to Abraham, though Isaac was born to him and Sarah in their old age, and they really waited with patience. My appeal to brothers and sisters is: let us emulate this kind of a spirit of waiting while doing good to each other. May God bless everyone across the globe.
Bro. Stephen Siamabi (Lusaka, Zambia.)