Be Patient in All Circumstances
“Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper- it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land” (Psalm 37:7-9 NLT).
In the Lord’s own words through my daughter, Charis, He said: “Your father must write an article about patience”. I quote directly to the glory of God. He says we must not conceal His words or message, but we must proclaim it out loud for everyone to hear (Matthew 10:27). I have a mandate and that is to preach the holy gospel, neither am I ashamed to be a follower of Christ Jesus, because it is He in me to accomplish His work of salvation for those who believe. Generally, we know that demanding circumstances can make us both restless and impatient, but the Lord encourages us to be focused and patient. As a family, we ourselves have and we are still being pushed to a level where our faith is the only thing that remains and carries us through the challenges we are facing (2 Corinthians 4:8-12). We equally know that impatience and frustrations never pleases the Lord and God is moved only by genuine faith and a spirit of humility (Genesis 37:3-11). Now through this message, the Lord is pleading with the brethren not to give up but persevere in prayer and allow this time of testing to shape your character and relationship with God.
The precious fruit of patience has been given to slow us down and focus on God’s salvation and deliverance. Quite often we hear the word patience and we sometimes acknowledge our impatience; we lack the application of this virtue. In this article, we will look at some Biblical examples of people who epitomised this great fruit and our struggle as individual witnesses to exercise patience. We are extremely blessed to hear from the Lord and to learn from Him. This does not make us perfect; it rather shows our ultimate weaknesses, which through His grace is being used to caution you. The teachings we deliver through these articles are for your benefit and for the edification of the individual members of the Body of Christ. There is no difference whether Catholic, Methodist, Charismatic, Pentecostal or Baptist (Romans 10:12). In addition, the Bible says: ”Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things”(Philippians 4:8). This is for you; ready yourself to apply and BE! While perfection is not attainable through the flesh (1 Corinthians 13:9), we are commanded to BE HOLY (1 Peter 1:15-16).
Furthermore, as humans we are dependent on God for our existence. We derive life and sustenance from Him (Acts 17:25). In our dependence on God, we are limited in our abilities, so we will need faith and patience to receive what we could not attain through natural means. God in His Wisdom has purposely withheld certain things from us “so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27 NIV). We are modelled to seek God and discover His truth as the above Scripture declares. The future is concealed from man, but God holds and knows the future of all things for His glory (Isaiah 46:10). We have a past to learn from but a future to hope for. Our hope is Christ, when He will reveal the purpose of our faith in Him (1 Timothy 6:12). Our quest is to attain salvation and this comes through patient endurance.
God created hope and He paired hope with patience. Hope and patience form faith, culminating into endurance, and resulting in salvation (1 Peter 1:9). If we expect something, we hope; and if we hoped for something, then we must apply patience and only then will we receive the promises. We apply patience through waiting, and waiting is never without faith (Galatians 5:5). When the Lord first called us to faith, He added spiritual fruit which is meant to impart His identity in us (Galatians 5:22; Romans 8:10-11). Through the Holy Spirit and His work within us we are recognised as sons and daughters of God (Romans 8:15-16). The invisible qualities or fruit of the Holy Spirit in a believer becomes visible through practice. The whole experience of faith is spiritual and so is the fruit of the Spirit; naturally people identifiy us as followers of Christ through the fruit in display. Therefore, through our union with Christ, this is how we become and get transformed into His likeness (1 Corinthians 6:17; Romans 12:1-2).
The Application of Patience Results in God’s blessings
Throughout the bible, patience is motivated through God’s promises. The people He gave His promises counted on His faithfulness and His inability to lie and change His mind (Hebrews 6:18; Numbers 23:19).
When Abraham was called to leave Haran, the Lord Almighty sent him out with His promises (Genesis 12:1-3). The Lord added no date on when these promises would be fulfilled; Abraham just had to believe in God’s faithfulness. He only had God’s spoken word as ‘proof’ that what was promised would be fulfilled. This prophetic promise was well in the future and Abraham only saw part of it being fulfilled in his life time, and that was the promise and birth of Isaac (see Genesis 21).
This great patriarch of faith did not waver in faith and patience, nor did he give up on God like many of us do when we have to wait. The Bible say Abraham was ‘hoping against hope’ (Romans 4:18). He held onto God’s promises ‘and so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised’ (Hebrews 6:15 NIV). His patience in God’s faithfulness was tested (Genesis 22:1-19).
Also, King David was given a promise of being King over Israel when he was just a youth (1 Samuel 16:1-23). Many times David had to flee for his life, while anointed to reign as King of Israel (2 Samuel 20:1). Through various tests and threats to his life, God granted him rest and fulfilled His promises. Because David was faithful, God extended this promise beyond his life (2 Samuel 7:5-16).
Moreover, Samuel‘s mother was ridiculed, yet by being patient and enduring in prayer she was promised a son through the priest Eli and God granted her request (1 Samuel 1:9-20). Hannah was troubled in her soul so she sought the Lord and not the counsel of man. Additionally, King Hezekiah, being a God-fearing and peaceful man, did not panic when he was threatened by his enemies; he turned to the Lord for help he was promised deliverance, and he received help from the powerful army of Sennacherib, the King of Assyria (2 Chronicles 32:1-23).
In the New Testament, the centurion’s faith was stimulated through a promise and he endured patiently, the Lord granted his request (Matthew 8: 5-13). The Lord raised a ruler’s daughter from dead; he was made to wait and he received his daughter back from death (Matthew 9:18-26). We further read in the Book of Acts how the Lord called the apostle Paul and set out the ministry work He had for him through Ananias, (Acts 9: 15-19). Paul patiently endured all persecutions and threats against his life and fulfilled his calling (2 Timothy 4:7).
Before going into testimonies, the Lord told us that all Christians are called for ministry (1 Peter 5:10; Ephesians 4:1-13). This was confirmed when the believers were persecuted, and they went as individual believers, preaching the gospel and the Jerusalem ‘mother’ church did not take offence to that (Acts 8:4-8). Today, some believers are discouraged to go out as sole witnesses, and I was a victim of this. My beloved brethren, let me encourage you: if you fish for souls and God laid it strongly on your heart, act by faith and GO witness! This is for the Lord and not for the church. My wife and I were called out of our former church to start a witnessing ministry and not a church. As it is, we go out daily as individual witnesses to witness and as a team upon the Lord’s command.
Patience Fulfils God’s Promises
Like all life’s organisms, things and people grow and develop. On the other hand, patience or any other spiritual entity grows. When the Lord rebukes us and refers to the individual fruit of the Holy Spirit He refers to it as a spirit. In our article “Obedience Through Test,” I pointed out how the fruit of the Holy Spirit responds as we yield by faith and obedience to God. I also pointed out in that article how knowledge of the word of God contributes to submission and desire for holy things, and this affects the self and setting us up for obedience. The fruit manifests or becomes visible only as we go through extremely challenging situations (see Isaiah 53). When we are being tested and we are disobedient and impatient, we will fail and never see the Lord’s Good promises fulfilled (1 Samuel 15:7-23). The fruit of the Holy Spirit is given for our holistic spiritual wholeness and spiritual perfection. This is God’s aid to us for service and to BE. I hasten to add more on the Holy Spirit: we must obey Him through the convictions because He will guide us and equip us for service (John 15:5-15).
Testimonies of Impatience with Failure and Patience with Blessings
As a reminder, all testimonies we share are truthful and we share it with a great conviction from the Holy Spirit. This is to testify to you that the Lord still speaks, He still heals and He has never changed. I reiterate: we are humbled by His grace upon our lives in choosing us to share His testimony with you. All glory, honour, praise and thanksgiving to our eternal King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. Amen!
I was blessed with a job by the Lord which I testified about in one of our articles (see Putting On Shoes the Wrong Way). He promised me the job and provided the date – this part was fulfilled. Secondly, He told Charis that I would earn a lot of money, I would be made permanent, and that I would receive a promotion - for this part He did not give a date. These were the Lord’s promises to me. This was the very best news I ever received in my life. Soon after I started working, I told some of my colleagues that I would be permanent. The company we worked for made use of labour brokers that recruit temporary staff. To me, this was a great company to work for; the Lord provides the best! After about a year I became impatient with the Lord and I asked Him a few times when this part of the promise would be fulfilled. He answered me saying: “Your father must not worry, I will provide”. This gave me courage for a few more months and impatience set in again, and this time I earned myself a rebuke. In a nutshell, I was lured by another company and thought this promise would be carried over. I was wrong! My impatience cost me all the promises the lord made; He is faithful, but I failed Him. I was forgiven and provided with another task, I learned a lesson which He commanded me to share with you. We must be patient until the end; only then will we receive what God has promised (Matthew 24:13). Therefore, learn from my mistake and inherit life and God’s good promises; they will not fail as we have seen through some Biblical examples.
Another testimony: one sister in our ministry became badly sick, having TB. She lost a lot of weight and coughed uncontrollably. The Lord promised, through Charis, to heal her saying: “My daughter Penny must read her Bible everyday starting from Genesis to Revelations and pray three (3) times a day, and I am going to heal My daughter Penny soon”. This precious sister’s situation deteriorated rapidly and she panicked. We encouraged her by re-assuring her about the Lord’s faithfulness and that she must just obey and be patient. She acted by faith and stopped altogether using her TB medication. The Lord Jesus did not tell her to stop taking her medication, nor did we advise her. This was her decision. I am testifying the truth here in Jesus name. This sister obeyed the Lord and He confirmed her faithfulness, Hallelujah! She was healed and still is; she is a faithful member of our witnessing team, glory to God! Her faith, obedience and patience resulted in the Lord’s promised blessings.
In another case, a friend of mine became very sick with a debilitating sickness; we asked the Lord and He promised to heal him. This friend became very weak and he only lived on liquids. We continued to pray for him and encouraged him in the Lord. In His faithfulness, the Lord touched Him and he started eating solid food and gained some weight. As his strength returned, he went back to his former habits of smoking and drinking. He died a few weeks later in his disobedience to the Lord (John 5:14). He despised the Lord’s counsel in his impatience; we must never test the Lord! This friend did receive a warning of impending death from the Lord, but he ignored it.
Finally, I have only shared this testimony with a few close brethren. I did not intend to include it in this article, but the Holy Spirit laid it strongly in my heart to testify about it. I share it to demonstrate to you that faith and patience operate together. If we panic and become frustrated, we fail to receive God’s good and precious promises.
In July last year, the Lord sent us on a week-long witnessing mission in a township about 15 Km from home. One day, after witnessing all day, my wife decided to nurse (breastfeed) our then two-and-a-half-month-old baby before going to bed. My wife was feeling so exhausted and did not remember to allow the baby to break wind (burp) after the feeding.
Before I continue, kindly allow me to mention this: a few days before this incident, I saw myself in a dream praying for someone I knew and rebuking the spirit of death, and the person came back to life. In the dream I saw that it was a friend and grown man, but when the person was raised it was a child. Little did I know it was my own daughter because her face was disguised!
We were awakened around 4 a.m. by a very strange noise coming from the baby: she was not breathing and her body was very cold and stiff. Rigor mortis had already set in when my wife alerted me of that sound. I immediately took the baby in my arms and I rebuked the spirit of death in Jesus name, while my wife joined in by praying in tongues, which I also did. A few minutes later, the baby started coughing violently for a long time, and we noticed that she could not breathe through her nose because it was blocked. I told my wife to fetch Vicks and apply it on her nose, and she started breathing and the cough stopped. I only realised later on that her violent coughing was caused by the breath of life entering her (2 Kings 4:35). Now, if we had panicked and started crying, we would have lost our daughter. We were endowed with patience and we saw God’s great move. I had nothing else in my mind but to just pray and trust God in that situation. Neither did I understand that dream; it only dawned to me a few days later. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
My precious brethren, we have everything to lose when we abandon patience. This precious and important fruit of the Holy Spirit has been ‘built’ into our salvation as a faith ingredient to present us holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:27). We need patience to help us endure and inherit God’s promises; no fruit of the Holy Spirit has been given in vain and it is to complete our salvation. We cannot desire against patience, we need it! Therefore submit and get the right attitude to go through life and enter eternal life – this is God’s call and standard; give it your all and nothing short (Matthew 19:29; Luke 13:24)!
Do you trust in the Lord? Are you waiting on the Lord’s promises? Do you have the fruit of patience, or are you one of those people who falsely believe in not praying for patience? If you are willing to turn your life over to God, please start by praying this
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