The Patience and the Reward of Faith
(Luke 18:1 – 8)
The work of faith is a process. It begins when a child of God places absolute trust in His Father to bring to pass those things he desires from God. It proceeds through a process called patience and then terminates at the destination called reward.
Many start the journey of faith but falter at the stop called hope. It is usually the longest part of the journey, with nothing in sight to give indication that the journey is about to end. Sometimes one of more obstacles threatens this journey, tempting us to turn around – and some do turn around. However, those who have been skilled in the art of navigating through the journey of faith know that after the desert of hope, the reward of faith awaits.
The Beginning – Trust
What is trust? It is the reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety of a person or a thing. As a noun, trust is a person or thing on which one relies. “God is my trust”.
Why does God expect us to trust Him? Because He has imposed on Himself the responsibility and obligation of a person in the position of trust. He has committed Himself to ensuring that your trust in Him is not for nothing.
Trusting God for anything is the start of the journey of faith. Our physical eyes cannot see the thing we are trusting God for, but when we look ahead with the eyes of faith, we see it clearly waiting and this gives us the impetus to undertake the journey. (Ruth 2:21)
This seeing with the eye of faith is called hope. Hope sees what the ordinary eye cannot see. Christian hope is spiritual; it is not the physical hope which has no substance; like a girl believing a boy would love her or an unemployed person sitting down at home, doing nothing and hoping to get a job.
Hope has substance. That substance is a God-driven desire to accomplish something! Trust is believing God will do what we have asked of Him, hope is the earnest expectation of that thing coming to pass. Trust and Hope were the ingredients we see in the life of the Moabite Ruth, which enabled her start the journey as against her sister Orpah, who could not see beyond her own gods and people.
David had complete and implicit trust in God – As for God, His way is perfect, the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield to all those who take refuge in Him. (Psalm 18: 30) This simply means that there is a sure protection to every believing person. We cannot believe His word too implicitly; not trust too confidently in Him.
Trust is the battery we need to start the vehicle for the journey of faith. If it is weak, then we can’t even start the journey at all. Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb 1:6)
Fuel for the Journey – Patience
Once we start the journey of faith, we need the fuel of patience to keep us moving. The journey may be long, short, smooth of rough. We must take care to ensure that we have a full tank of patience to ensure that we do not get stuck on the way. Patience is an ingredient of faith that is greatly lacking in our world today.
We want everything very fast. Technology has greatly enhanced man’s ability to do a lot of things quickly including processing vast amounts of information. Everything from traveling, cooking, construction and many areas of human endeavour have faster ways of being accomplished as man’s knowledge increases.
No technology however, can quicken the journey of faith. It is constant, consistent and enduring. This is why in our days, it is often questioned, maligned and abused. However, it remains the only reliable and recommended way to please God.
It is not an easy task to be patient in our fast moving world. Patience denotes a quiet disposition, an easy going and even cheerful attitude even when things don’t seem to be turning out well for us. It is accepting quietly the criticisms and failures of people around us and walking in the strength of the Spirit. This is the point many people falter. It is the point where many decide to either turn back or take short cuts. Oh and there are indeed so many short cuts available to keep us away from the path of faith!
- Saul could not wait for Samuel to make the burnt offering for fear of attack from the Philistines. As a result he lost the ability to pass on the kingship to his descendants. (1 Sam 13)
- Sarah could not wait for the promised son. This was what brought Ishmael into the picture
- The children of Israel could not wait for Moses after he went up the mountain for the ten commandments.
Destination – Reward of Faith
How do you feel when at last you have in your hands that which you had waited patiently for? Imagine the thrill of a graduate who has spent countless hours reading, attending classes and writing exams, when at last he holds that certificate in his hands, confirming that he is now a graduate. He instantly forgets the pains and agony of studying. He is ecstatic! No wonder the Bible tells us that He will wipe every tear away (Rev 7:17)
Imagine Sarah’s joy when she held Isaac in her arms, or Hannah when she had Samuel. We have many examples in Heb 11 of those who journeyed through faith and got to their destination.
The destination for every journey of faith is the reward; grasping in your hands what you had hoped and patiently waited for. It is not just about the things of this world, it is also about our eternal rewards. The things that are seen are temporal, the things that are unseen are eternal. As we aim to accomplish things in life here, we ought also to remember that there is a greater accomplishment, winning the crown of life. Hearing that wonderful voice saying, ‘Welcome though faithful servant!’ What a joy that would be, knowing that I am home at last!’
May the Lord give us grace to help us through our journey through faith so that we can accomplish the purpose of God for our lives.
Written By : Steve O. Popoola
(c) Biblepraise Fellowship, April 2010.
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the webmaster of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org . He currently resides in London. He is married to Maris and they have three lovely children; Praise, Stephanie and Precious. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org