Possessing the Promise
By: Apostle Skhumbuzo Sangweni
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:11-12).
Whilst faith is important to the believer and it is needful to possessing God’s promise, the scripture above declares, it will take faith and patience to inherit the promises. We now must learn patience like we learned faith for the promise to manifest.
It takes two wings for an eagle to fly. If an eagle were to try to fly with just one wing he would only spin around in circles on the ground. The same is true of many people who are trying to soar spiritually on their faith, but have not added patience. These just keep going around in circles, getting more and more frustrated and kicking up a lot of dust. Any truth that we teach without the counter-balancing truth will lead us to frustration, not fulfilment. As we read of Abraham, who is called the “father of faith”:
In hope against hope he believed, in order that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, “So shall your descendants be. “And without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what He had promised, He was able also to perform. Therefore also it was reckoned to him as righteousness (Romans 4:18-22).
True faith does not waver over time, but becomes stronger. Therefore, patience is the proof of whether one’s faith is real or not.
There are manu discouraged Christians who feel that God gave them promises that have not been fulfilled. If any promise of God is not fulfilled, we can be sure that the entire fault is on our side, not His. He is always true to His word.
So what is it that we could be doing wrong? In most cases it seems that we are confusing faith with an emotion, and not joining it with patience. There are conditions with every promise of God. If we are not seeing His promises fulfilled it is because we are not meeting the conditions. Having faith is one condition—having patience is another. If we get discouraged with the passage of time while waiting for a promise to come to pass, then we do not have the true faith of God. True faith always gets stronger with the passage of time, not weaker.
Between the place where the children of Israel were given the promise of a Promised Land, and the Promised Land itself, there was a wilderness that was the exact opposite of what they were promised. The wilderness proved whether they would trust God, or doubt Him. The same is almost always true when we are given a promise. There is often a wilderness to go through to get to the fulfilment of the promise that is the opposite of what we have been promised. It is in this place that we must choose either to believe God, or give in to discouragement and self-pity.
Self-pity is one of the primary destroyers assigned to keep God’s people from walking in their purposes. If we allow self-pity or discouragement into our lives, we will wander in useless circles just as the first generation of Israelites did who left Egypt. If we believe God, we will in due time attain the promise. If we believe God we will even rejoice in the wilderness, being thankful to have been called by God.
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place (II Corinthians 2:14).