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...
I am mildly surprised as I read these words months after writing them. Mildly, I say, because it isn’t a surprise and yet it is, to see how I have been so down in my hopes, feelings and outlook on things. I marvel somewhat because I know this has happened on many occasions while in between those times I have also felt quite to the contrary, as though the Lord were very much with me and that by Him, nothing was impossible. I have particularly felt the latter way, with full conviction immediately after the Lord has manifest Himself to me in some way, unmistakably. But how soon and how able we are to forget and to be in despair! The whole world rots before my very eyes. Blind I am not to its corruption; Men bide their time in vain travail Or wait until they have to go. Suffering and death are everywhere, Sickness, disease and hell; Selfishness and greed reign over all; Each man denies another’s rights. Hell is on the left, Death is on the right; Fake religions promise emancipation; Vain hopes carrot asses everywhere; The wisest are led by them, bled by them, and slain by them. God is here, God is there, God is everywhere; And nowhere. There is no truth, no mercy, no compassion, No righteousness nor justice in this earth. Men are quick to boast their virtue, To make a show of goodness, ‘Til they have you where they want you And slit your throat for what you have If even so very little. I see the wickedness and the cruelty, The deception of every man Bu...
Who is going to do it – I or God? Who will initiate – the one led or the One leading? Do we help Him? Does He need our help? Were we around to help Him start it all? Do we think we must at least be around to help Him finish it? Do we have any understanding as to what the finish should be? Either I reign or God reigns. Either I call the shots or He does. And every soul is in damnation until it learns to put its trust entirely in Him. As one has already put it, “Let go and let God.” Grab a hold! Grab with all you’ve got! Grab? Grab what? I have grabbed and grabbed and grabbed. I now find nothing to grab, and if I did, I would be too exhausted to grab. I once sat and waited. I waited. I waited to see. I waited to hear and to understand. Nothing came for me to grab. But then nothing grabbed me and I could wait no more. I went out to grab, finding something to grab. Now I grab instead of wait. And I hurt for grabbing. I grab again and the pain grows intense, intolerable. Then I remember………….no more grabbing! So I wait until I am grabbed again by the One Who already holds me and Who teaches me not to grab But to rest and to be grabbed. Lethbridge, July 20, 1984