The Patience To Wait for the Vision
“Though it tarries, wait for it …” (Habakkuk 2:3).
PATIENCE An active endurance of opposition, not a passive resignation. Patience and patient are used to translate several Hebrew and Greek words. Patience is endurance, steadfastness, long-suffering, and forbearance. God is patient (Rom. 15:5). He is slow to anger in relation to the Hebrews (Ex. 34:6; Num. 14:18, Neh. 9:17; Ps. 86:15; Isa. 48:9; Hos. 11:8-9). The Hebrews were frequently rebellious, but God patiently dealt with them. Jesus’ parable of the tenants depicted God’s patience with His people (Mark 12:1-11). God’s patience with sinners allows time for them to repent (Rom. 2:4), especially in the apparent delay of the return of Christ (2 Pet. 3:9-10).
God’s people are to be patient. The psalmist learned to be patient when confronted with the prosperity of the wicked (Ps. 37:1-3, 9-13, 34-38). Christians should face adversity patiently (Rom. 5:3-5). Patience is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Christian love is patient (1 Cor. 13:4, 7). Ministers are to be patient (2 Cor. 6:6).
Christians need patient endurance in the face of persecution. Hebrews stressed endurance as the alternative to shrinking back during adversity (Heb. 6:9-15; 10:32-39). Jesus is the great example of endurance (Heb. 12:1-3). Perseverance is part of maturity, PERSEVERANCE Maintaining Christian faith through the trying times of life. As a noun the term perseverance occurs in the New Testament only at Ephesians 6:18 (proskarteresei) and Hebrews 12:1 (hupomones). The idea is inherent throughout the New Testament in the great interplay of the themes of assurance and warning. The background setting for the idea of perseverance blossomed out of the context of persecution and temptation. The believer was expected faithfully to endure and to remain steadfast in the face of opposition, attack, and discouragement (Jas. 1:2-4). Job’s perseverance is another example for suffering Christians (Jas. 5:11). John frequently highlighted the patient endurance of Christians (Rev. 2:2, 19; 3:10; 13:10; 14:12). Christian patience is ultimately a gift from God (Rom. 15:5-6; 2 Thess. 3:5).
Patience: is not the same as indifference; patience conveys the idea of someone who is tremendously strong and able to withstand all assaults. Having the vision of God is the source of patience because it gives us God’s true and proper inspiration. Moses endured, not because of his devotion to his principles of what was right, nor because of his sense of duty to God, but because he had a vision of God. “… he endured as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27). A person who has the vision of God is not devoted to a cause or to any particular issue—he is devoted to God Himself. You always know when the vision is of God because of the inspiration that comes with it. Things come to you with greatness and add vitality to your life because everything is energized by God. He may give you a time spiritually, with no word from Himself at all, just as His Son experienced during His time of temptation in the wilderness. When God does that, simply endure, and the power to endure will be there because you see God.
“Though it tarries, wait for it … .” The proof that we have the vision is that we are reaching out for more than we have already grasped. It is a bad thing to be satisfied spiritually. The psalmist said, “What shall I render to the Lord …? I will take up the cup of salvation …” (Psalm 116:12–13). We are apt to look for satisfaction within ourselves and say, “Now I’ve got it! Now I am completely sanctified. Now I can endure.” Instantly we are on the road to ruin. Our reach must exceed our grasp. Paul said, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on …” (Philippians 3:12). If we have only what we have experienced, we have nothing. But if we have the inspiration of the vision of God, we have more than we can experience. Beware of the danger of spiritual relaxation.