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Faithfulness & Patience

Hebrews 12:1b encourages us to “run with patience the race that is set before us.”  God’s plan is revealed many times throughout scripture to be one that has the eternal and not the immediate as the ultimate goal.   God spent the first eighty years of Moses life preparing him for the real ministry of bringing His people out of Egypt during the last forty years of his life.  He prepared Moses for palace behavior the first one third of his life.  He took Moses to the back side of the desert and taught him to commune with God the next forty years and then called him back to Egypt to do what he was equipped to do.   God took Joseph from the pit, to Potiphar, to prison over nearly twenty years before he was prepared to be the second in command of all Egypt and able to preserve Jacob’s family from the famine.  God promised a deliverer in Genesis 3:15, but waited four thousand years to bring Jesus to earth and in the “fullness of time” defeat Satan, sin, and death for eternity.

In each of these examples, as well as many others, we are shown that character building and perfect timing are necessary for God to work His perfect will.  In rearing children, a parent needs to see the long range view in order to make present time decisions.  Seeing a son or daughter as the next generation and training them for eternity rather than just settling for “peace and quiet” will alter the way each opportunity for teaching and training is handled.  Character will be built and Biblical wisdom will be imparted when we see God’s long range plan.   Missionaries will not become faint or weary in well doing when they see that these little children will one day be the national pastor that leads the work in the next generation. They will pour themselves into training and teaching and looking for the fruit that will come in “due season if we faint not.”

A major characteristic of faithfulness is patience.  I can be patiently faithful if I see the future that God intends.  I will not sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.  I will not be a lazy parent and give in to keep the peace, but will from the beginning, teach and train line upon line, precept upon precept, because this will be the foundation of the future.  I will leave a legacy in my church, my family, my mission, that will continue to bear fruit long after I am gone.  I must look unto Jesus the author and finisher of my faith.