“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness (patience). And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4 ESV)
Every promise of God is “yes” and “amen” in Jesus! However, that doesn’t mean every promise is instantly realized.
Every promise RECEIVED is tried and tested. In other words, every time we receive a promise from God, that promise brings with it a test.
It’s like this. Say, for instance, I receive the promise “believe on the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved.” Okay, I choose to believe. I follow His word, believe, and now I’m saved. Hallelujah!
But I don’t feel saved, look saved, act saved, talk saved, or even eat saved! But His Word says I AM SAVED, if I’ve received His word, His promise.
So what keeps me, guards me, and gives me strength during such a time of testing? Patience. Endurance. Steadfastness.
Without patience, our faith isn’t strong enough to hold on to the promise. The writer of Hebrews says, “be followers of those, who through faith AND patience, inherit the promises.” As gold is tried by fire, so is our faith. And patience is the spiritual force that keeps us from burning up when the fires of testing begin to blaze.
Recently, I had a situation where my faith was tried by fire. It felt like My faith was burning up! It became so warm in me that I came close to dropping the promise just to cool off a bit.
About a year ago, I sensed the Lord directing me to write books; books to encourage, challenge, and help the Body of Christ mature. I wrote one last year, “The Power of Encouragement” which I self published. Soon after the book was completed, the Lord gave me an idea for another book, which I finished last fall.
I didn’t want to go the self-publishing route this time so I set about looking for publishers, literary agents, and the like; someone to whom I could submit my manuscript.
My, what a process! I couldn’t find anyone who appeared the slightest bit interested in reviewing my work. I became so discouraged I said to my wife one day, “I think I’m going make the manuscript free to the world! All they’ll need to do is write, requesting a free PDF file of the book.
She thought I was wrong!
What?!?! Me wrong?!?!
She told me, in so many words, I needed to trust God. So, I backed off of the idea and kept looking around for a publisher I could connect with.
4 days later I discovered a company who allowed me to submit the manuscript.
Exactly 2 weeks later I received an email from the company stating their love and excitement about my book! They wanted to publish and market it for me!
What’s more, they were a Christian company, operating on Christian principles. Plus they receive 10,000 manuscript submissions each year but only publish 4-5%! And they were interested in me!
After spending a few days talking with the company rep, praying and researching everything, the publishing process began.
I had need of patience. God doesn’t make promises without making a way for them to be fulfilled. But I almost gave up too soon!
Don’t give up on His promises! Don’t give up on God! If you are certain about His direction for you, “let patience have its perfect work in you…”
God’s Word is yes for you. Faith and patience is your yes to Him.