I love the subject of faith. Faith is vital to our Christian walk for without it we cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6).
I spent most of my Christian life not understanding what faith truly was. Over the years, I heard a lot about faith and even named my daughter Faith, but faith to me was like Jell-O. I couldn’t quite grasp what faith really was. I read books and listened to numerous messages on this subject. However, I never received personal revelation as to how faith worked, how to get it, and what it is capable of doing in a Christian’s life. I had head knowledge, but I found that mere knowledge of something falls short of experiential knowing.
In the last decade, I have been compelled by my circumstances to study faith and now I have a much better understanding of what it is and how is operates. Faith is an invisible force yet it provides tangible evidence of things hoped for. Faith is proof of what we cannot see. Faith is seeing into the unseen world and being fully persuaded in our heart that what ALREADY EXISTS will soon be made visible. Faith is living as though God’s precious promises are literally in the here and now. By faith our imagination is already enjoying what we cannot physically see.
Faith, however is not the subject of this article, patience or perseverance is. I like the word perseverance because it implies a continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failures or opposition. (I will use patience and perseverance interchangeably throughout this article.) James 1:3-4 says, “Knowing that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. But perseverance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” Faith is always accompanied by patience or perseverance. Perseverance is “the rest of the story” that you rarely hear from the pulpit. Perseverance plays a key role with faith and cannot be ignored.
Let’s look at a picture that I hope will help you understand how faith, perseverance (patience), and the promise work together:
A farmer, by faith, sows seed in the ground with the hope of a multiplied return—harvest. Once he sows the seed he has to wait for the seed to go through the process of producing a harvest. The seed doesn’t come up overnight. It takes months of patient waiting to produce the hoped-for crop. There is a confidence within the farmer that what he sowed will manifest in due season. He understands the law of sowing and reaping. He is not troubled by the wait, wringing his hands and wondering if the seed will produce. He has faith in the process.
Faith operates in much the same way. We declare God’s Word (promises) and plant that “seed” into our heart. Day by day we hold that seed (those promises) in our heart through meditation until, over time, what we are holding in our heart manifests in the physical world we live in. This is the law of faith and how it works. Faith is all the proof you need that God’s promises are yours.
So many Christians abort their blessings by giving up before the harvest has a chance to manifest. They either stop meditating on the Word (seed) or mix their meditation with negative speaking. Negative speaking is like putting Round-Up® on the planted seed growing in our heart. Negative speaking kills the seed! Another common mistake is that they become impatient and “dig up” the seed by trying to “help” the seed produce something through their own efforts. They simply don’t trust the process.
Something amazing happens if we persevere and wait on God’s promises to manifest through meditation—holding on to God’s Word in our heart. Our flesh gets dealt with. Faith forces our flesh with its five senses to take the back-seat in our life. Over time we no longer depend on our natural senses, but on the ability of the planted seed (God’s Word) to do its work. Eventually the invisible becomes more real than the visible. When this happens, manifestation is very near.
Patience matures our faith and puts us in a place where we lack nothing. When faith is perfected or reaches a place of maturity, we find ourselves living an abundant life. We live a life of confidence in God’s Word and its ability to produce what it says. With a mature person, wavering is no longer present. Steadfastness takes its place and is seen by all those who observe him or her. Faith exercised through perseverance ALWAYS results in God being glorified.
One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 10:35 (HCSB) that says, “Do not throw away your confidence which has great reward. For you need endurance (perseverance) so that after you have done the will of God, you will receive what was promised.” Our confidence must be in God’s Word and we should NEVER throw that away. We should never quit or give up on what God has said. If we are patient, doing God’s will by remaining confident in His promises, we will receive exactly what He said in due season. Always keep in mind the law of seedtime and harvest. There is TIME between the moment we say “amen” to God’s Word and “there it is” in our life. If we understand the law of faith, we will live in confidence and with a peaceful heart. What could be better than that?
Over the years I have made meditating on God’s Word a practice. As my heart holds on to God’s word and I let it do its complete work in me through perseverance, I end up receiving exactly what the Word promised. I have experienced abundance and healing many times by practicing this formula of faith + perseverance = promise manifested. So, I encourage you to do the same. It takes work to transition from a sense-based life to a faith-based life. However, you will discover for yourself that it is worth it!
“I decree your faith will increase and that you remain patient until you receive what God has promised.”
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