Patience: God isn't McDonald's

Hebrews 6:13-15 NKJV
For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, "Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you." And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

God isn't McDonald's.

Have you ever thought about how impatient we are as a society? We want what we want when we want it, thinking that if we don't get it now, then what's the point? Everything is a fast food mentality.

There is a great deal of difference between going to McDonald's and cooking a hamburger at home. The focus of eating at a fast food place is . . . well, the idea of fast. You can stand at the order counter, place your order, and get your food quicker at McDonald's then you can probably take out the hamburger, add spices, and fashion the patty at home. But the hamburger likely isn't the same. I know that the hamburgers that my husband and I cook at home are far better (and healthier) than what we order at McDonald's. When we eat at fast food, the only things that we get as benefits are time and convenience. When we cook at home, we get many benefits including healthier food. The point being that eating at McDonald's may have immediate benefits, but not long term ones.

God isn't about immediate benefits. He sees the long term and plans for us for eternity, not just for the moment. There are numerous stories in scripture where He made a promise and then waited . . . and waited . . . and waited . . . to bring the promise to fruition. Why? Because it was better. Here in Hebrews the author writes: "After he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise." That seems to be a premise that we need to embrace. The promises come after we patiently endure.

Now, there are two important concepts in those words: "patiently" and "endured." First, when we are patient, we bear trials and sorrows without complaining; we are steadfast despite opposition or adversity. In other words, we stand the course, trusting God through it all. There is a great deal about patience in scripture. James writes:

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing" (James 1:2-4 NKJV).

Patience makes us complete as believers. And it is when we are complete that we are ready to receive God's promises. The second word "endure" is about being steadfast in the faith. It's easy to trust God for a moment. It's difficult to trust Him over time when circumstances fail against His faithfulness. But as believers we are called over and over to endure. Why? Because that's what makes faith. Faith isn't something we say; it's something we live. If we have faith then through the darkest hour we will still believe that He is working everything for our good. And it is after we have patiently endured that His promise will finally come in our lives.

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Copyright by Robin L. O'Hare.
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