We walk by faith. Faith overcomes the world. We live by faith. Faith is the work of God. By faith are we saved. This we know.
Now there is much ado made about love, joy, peace and works. But the thing that is striking is that with faith in the trial of the saints is mentioned none of those but patience. “Here is the patience and faith of the saints” (Rev. 13:10). Less is said about patience but this patience is the virtue of all virtues coupled with faith. The Lord teaches us to wait.
I once saw a man
Sitting in a chair on his veranda.
His feet were raised up and resting on a rail,
His eyes pegged on the road ahead.
He seemed to be waiting
With longing and hope.
He was alone and didn’t like it much,
And waited for someone to come.
Time passed on…and on…and on.
I looked again and saw
The prairie without life, as before,
The house, the veranda, and chair;
I saw the feet on the rail,
The figure was still there
But no flesh was left, only dust and bones
And cloth and cobwebs and hair.
Lord, why must we wait so long
For promises to be fulfilled?
Soon I begin to think and feel
That these promises were only imagined
Or that I have failed somehow.
I begin to think of that man
Who waited with hope in vain.
Will this be my lot? Am I that man?
My heart sick with hope deferred?
Will I turn to dust as that lonely soul,
Feeding on empty dreams?
But no, this is the patience and faith of the saints
Who are called to trust and to hope.
So we wait and accept the delay.
The man had no promise,
His hopes were in vain,
And he perished, not knowing the truth.
But we know the truth.
We know what we know because we have heard
And believe the One Who is true.
Lethbridge, Sept. 30, 1984
If we truly believe that God is over all, then it must follow that He is the engineer of our needs as well. We will often think of Him as the Provider but seldom as the One Who has created the need to show Himself as Provider. Grasping the truth that my needs are not dangers or risks but rather introductions to Him and to His faithfulness turns me from fear and uncertainty to excitement and joyful anticipation. He is not only the Provider of the provisions required to meet the need but also the Provider of the need to require the provisions which He is able and ready and willing to deliver. And why all this? To teach me about Him and His ways, to reveal Himself in me, to set my feet on solid rock, to demonstrate His faithfulness, power and love. What will be next? How can I be sure? How can these things be? We spend what we have Of what we had But not of what we have. Yesterday provides to the hour But tomorrow too has its needs, And yesterday’s provision Will be no more When tomorrow arrives To demand its share. And if today There is nothing given I will have no yesterday To meet the need of the hour When that hour comes. From where do our needs come? Do they not arise From Reality? Then they must be met by the same. By the same They will be met. And because all things proceed From the Master of all, Therefore provision meets the need As the sun dispels the darkness And happiness the gloom. Why should I doubt? Why should I fear, Know...
The unknown brings fear to some. To others there comes a sense of excitement and adventure, especially if they believe that all will be well in the end.
There are so many foolish doctrines about God in nominal Christendom. Yet if one truly believes and not only professes that God reigns supreme over all things, those doctrines would be readily, joyfully discarded. Knowing the reality of the supremacy of God is the victory over sin, the flesh, the devil, error, darkness, hell and death. My friend, of, by, for and to Him are all things. Supremely excellent are the ways of the Lord! What is the strength and wrath of man? What is the wisdom of man? In vain he strives and labors to perform; He fails; But God reigns over all, His daily wonders to perform. Blessed are the eyes of those who see His works, His hand in all, His might manifest on behalf of those Who love Him and who are called According to His counsel and will. Victory belongs to the Lord God Almighty. In defeat, He reigns; In chastening, He builds; In failure, He prospers; In weakness, He is perfected In His chosen ones. Nothing below Him can thwart His design; There is nothing above; The blessed ones are sure, Established forevermore, Their path brighter as they go Though darkness around them Grows thicker and more horrible. Moon River, Oct. 28, 1991