by Apostle André Pelser
Hebrews 10:36 honestly tells us we have need of patience. We were not born with patience. Babies are impatient. They cannot wait. That is why they cry! We have to learn patience.
Romans 5:3 informs us tribulation works patience and James explains that the trying of our faith works patience. Then James adds, let patience have her perfect work that you might be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:3, 4)
Paul calls God the God of patience in Romans 15:5 and prays that God makes us like-minded to also become patient like God.
Hebrews 12:1 depicts the Christian life of faith compared to an athlete in a race. We are told to run the race of faith with patience.
Guidelines to understand why patience is needed
Here are a few guidelines for practical Christian living with patience. The Christian life demands discipline and yet promises the liberty of the sons of God. It seems like a paradox at first, but it really shows perfect patience or balance. The comparison with an athlete in a race gives us certain guidelines for practical Christian living.
- You need training and a coach to prepare for a race
- You have to focus on the race and not worry about the competition
- You have to finish the race: know the distance you are running
- You run according to the rules, the lanes marked out, to reach the finishing tape
- You hope to win the prize, the reward for all the hard work
- Do not let the crowd upset you or disturb your concentration
I Corinthians 9:24-27 give us the following directives to run the race of faith:
- Run to obtain the prize – have a definite goal in mind
- Strive for mastery – don’t be average
- Be temperate in all things – you have a spirit of self-control
- Realize you do it for an incorruptible crown
- Don’t run with uncertainty – have great assurance of faith
- Keep your body in subjection so you don’t become a castaway
Challenges you may face as you run the race of faith
- Injury & pain – but we have Jehovah Rapha as our Healer!
- The hard work of staying fit, eating right, exercising
- Rivalry – some people always think they can do better
- Criticism – you face people’s opinions about what you are doing
- If you don’t run according to the rules you might be disqualified
- Obstacles in your way – the enemy wants to stop you
- Public exposure – there is no secret discipleship
Prophetic insights to help us run successfully
Isaiah prophesied they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall rise up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
Jeremiah gave us a progression of races: first learn to run with the footmen, before you run with the horses! (Jeremiah 12:5)
Habakkuk was told to write the vision down that those who read it may run with it. (Habakkuk 2:2)
Galatians 2:2 as well as Philippians 2:16 warns us not to run in vain. I Peter 4:4 coaches us to avoid extremes while we are running the race of faith with patience.
Photo by Zoltan Tasi