Faith and Patience

Gen 21:5 “Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.”

Meditation

Twenty-five years is a long time to rest in a promise and have faith tested.  Recall when Abram was 75yrs old, God promised Abram that he would father a son and a nation.  When Abram was 100yrs old, the first part of this promise was fulfilled.  Isaac was born to Abram and Sarah.  Twenty-five years after receiving God’s promise, Abram’s son was born.

The word “patience” is rich with meaning.  Patience has Latin and Old French roots.  The word “patient” comes from the same stem.  It’s origin conjures a picture of “suffering”.  Synonyms include calmness in suffering, suffering with self-control, longsuffering and the ability to tolerate and suffer delay.  

Paraphrasing Gen 21:5, one might say, “After repeated promises from God that began with he was 75 yrs old, after a visit by two angels, after a pre-incarnate appearance by the Lord himself, then 25yrs later, Abram and Sarah gave birth to Isaac.”

Not surprisingly, I lose this perspective with others if they are 10-minutes, 10-hours or 10-days late.  Here, Abram faithfully endured decades with patience.

Application

Patience faith is a muscle that is stretched and strengthened by God’s timing.  The Puritans first used “Patience” as a proper name in the 16th century.  Insightfully, they gave the name “Patience” to women; not men!  How is God challenging our faith leadership?  Am I an example of faithful patience at work, at home, with my fellow believers and non-believers?

Next Steps

Rom 8:22-25  “It is plain to anyone with eyes to see that at the present time all created life groans in a sort of universal travail. And it is plain, too, that we who have a foretaste of the Spirit are in a state of painful tension, while we wait for that redemption of our bodies which will mean that at last we have realised our full sonship in him. We were saved by this hope, but in our moments of impatience let us remember that hope always means waiting for something that we haven’t yet got. But if we hope for something we cannot see, then we must settle down to wait for it in patience.”  (JB Phillips translation)