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Living A Dream!

"What A Fellowship"

Sometimes, it seems that life just isn't fair. I mean it just doesn't make sense! You take one step forward only to take, what appears to be, two steps backward. We start off in life full of dreams and desires, and as we progress, we oftentimes find ourselves giving up on these dreams as we get older. We begin seeing them as unattainable or just some fleeting fantasy because of the experience that life has taught us.

"I guess it just wasn't for me," we surmise, having been convinced by those old con-artists, disillusionment and disappointment. "After all, life is hard, and why should we expect anything different?" Because the Word says so, that's why! "Yeah, but every time I try that 'faith stuff,' thinking maybe this time it'll work, my hopes are shattered. Feeling let down and frustrated once again, being encumbered about by gloom and the pain of failure, I draw back into that 'safe place' that says do not trust, do not get your hopes up and you will not get hurt!"

Many Christians feel this same way. They see the promises in the Bible and believe they are real, they just don't think they are attainable for them. They just can't seem to get them off the pages of the Bible and into their daily lives. Knowing that the Word of God is true, where on earth could they be missing it?

There is a very misunderstood ingredient that the church as a whole seems to be very afraid of, and this is the "power of patience." For years, I've heard people tell new Christians: "Whatever you do, don't ever pray for patience. No, don't do that, because everything in the world will go wrong for you!" Sound familiar? Well, let's take a look at the Bible and see what the Word says about this very important subject.

In James 1:2-4 it states: "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces (works and fashions) patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." In the actual Greek language the word 'produce' means to work-out and to fashion, to finish, mature. We all know what happens when a person begins to work-out at the Gym, their muscles begin to strengthen. That's the picture being presented here. By allowing patience to work, we become stronger as endurance is fashioned and built up to maturity. So, with that understanding, according to this verse, it looks to me like patience is a good thing - something to be welcomed and embraced! In fact, it says we are to be joyful when entering into a test or trial knowing that patience is going to be worked-out and fashioned, and if we allow it to work, it's going to do something wonderful for us! It will cause us to be perfect (mature) and complete in this life, and don't miss this, - LACKING NOTHING!

Now you can understand why I cringe when I hear a fellow Christian say: "I'm just not a patient person like you, that's just the way I'm wired, I just don't have any patience." And then they laugh about it. I want to say to them: "That's one of the reasons why you are in the fix that you are in, time and time again. You lack patience so you are lacking everything that is important in life. That's why life is such a struggle for you and your family! You're patience is whimpy and weak, and it needs a good work-out."

Let's take a look at another block of scripture that I think will help us to see the power of patience as a friend and as a desired attribute in our lives. In Hebrews 6:11-12 it says: "And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish (lazy), but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises."

Did you see it? The dynamic duo of faith and patience. These two work together causing the promises of God to come into manifestation in our lives. For too long the Body of Christ has lived far below the intentions of our Lord. We've talked faith, preached faith, sung faith, dissected faith and placed it under the microscope of our heart, trying to see where we could have missed it. Generally speaking we haven't really missed it at all, we've just neglected the maturity of its partner - patience.

The lack of patience will cause you to walk in the natural realm every time. It'll snatch you out of faith as soon as it "looks" like nothing is happening, and you will make the decision to give up or go in another direction. You'll become your own worst enemy, causing a short-circuit in the process of blessing, and it will keep the desires of your heart from coming to pass.

Don't let that happen! Know that the Lord is on your side. He has given His all so that you could experience His all. Remember, you're not in this alone! If you are born-again, the Holy Spirit resides on the inside of you. Take time each day to develop your relationship with Him, desiring to learn how to recognize His voice. Become a person that refuses to move without the leading of the Holy Spirit. You have all wisdom residing on the inside of you, He is your helper and your comforter and He wants you to take a step deeper into the riches of His grace through faith and patience so that you will begin - Living A Dream!

Dan Downey
All Rights Reserved (c)
Dan Downey 2000

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