It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
enduring [“But the word of the Lord will last forever” – I Pet. 1:25];
and powerful [“He sent his word and healed them and delivered them from all of their destructions” – Psa. 107:20]
Romans 15:4 “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” KJV
The bible is not a history of the world, the bible is the history of God’s dealings with man. It does not provide a chronological description of how it all happened. It describes how God made the world then how he dealt with man and showed compassion on him and his plan to reconcile the world after the fall. He documented through Moses how he covered Adam’s sin with the blood of an innocent animal and how he has covered sin since. We needed and continue to need to learn how this was done, so that we can know his ways and can appreciate the good He has done for us – the richness of his grace and mercy!
I Corinthians 10: 1-11 say that the things that happened [and were recorded] were a warning and an example of what not to do so that we don’t end up with a similar circumstance as the Israelites in the wilderness. That we would learn how to walk in this journey, to know that this is not our home, that we cannot murmur against the good that God is doing and how he is leading us. That we can’t spend our time partying and getting involved with the world’s corrupt system.
Learning takes place in the mind, a portion of the soul. Everyone including Jesus had to learn how be true to the spiritual nature in a physical body. He also had to guard himself from mental and/or soulical conflict including emotional conflict, temptation and willfulness. These are temptations that he overcame in 40 days of temptation and spiritual warfare in the wilderness. Hebrews 6:12 states that Even though Jesus was God’s son, He still “learned obedience through the things that he suffered.” What does this mean for us; . . . that we have to learn obedience, humility, that we will have to suffer, and even then learn that Jesus’ yoke is easy and his burden is light.
We have to learn that even as priests and kings we will need to learn what it means to be a King and how Kings conduct business. Galatians 4:1-2 talks about how the heir of all still has to learn to be the king and how the kingdom works.
What is the way of patience?
Understanding doesn’t come overnight, so then ” . . . ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36 And again, Hebrews 6:12 “ … be ye followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Faith and patience are the keys to growth in the long-term. Let’s define what patience is and how it figures into the growth equation. Patience is rendered “endurance and perseverance in many of the translations and dictionaries. Even Jesus tells us that “In your patience, possess ye our souls” Luke. 21:19
Patience with others is Love, Patience with self is Hope, Patience with God is Faith.”–Adel Bestavros
In a discussion of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, conflict and confusion [strife] sometimes arise in part because the prince of the air would like to prevent God’s Children’s access to this gift. Jesus spoke of the gift in two familiar passages. In John chapter 4, He asks the woman at the well if she would like to have the Gift of God (vs. 10) . . . living water so that she would never thirst again (vs. 14) . . .” but the water that I give him shall be in him a well of water springing into everlasting life.”
An Act of Will
One aspect of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that has caused significant controversy is their manifestation. Much ado has been made of the manifestation: “speaking in an unknown tongue”. This highly visible aspect has been much maligned by the “have-nots” and given undue credence by the “haves”. Much of the imbalance in views were plainly evident in the Corinthian church and for that reason I believe the Lord left Paul’s letters to that church for us to study and appreciate the wisdom by which he approached the subject.
Paul’s discussions of the gifts of the spirit begin in Chapter 12 of the first Corinthian letter. He says he wants the church to understand the realities of those gifts. He discusses in detail the differences in administration of the gifts, how the church as a whole (metaphorically described as the ‘body of Christ’) needs the different gifts not only the manifestation gifts but also the gifts given as offices in the church i.e. pastors, prophets, etc. Barclay’s translation of verse 7 reads, “The visible effect which the Spirit produces in each of us is designed for the common good”. In other words, by whatever means the Spirit manifests himself, it is for the good of all.
God is sovereign and He will make himself known by His power working in the earth i.e. the Holy Spirit in whatever ways he see fit. The spirit world is not limited by time or space so the manifestation of the Spirit as exhibited in biblical times cannot be limited or relegated to those times. We must expect that as God lives, and more importantly, lives in us, His spirit will manifest himself in ways we have seen written in the word and in ways unimaginable.
At the end of the chapter Paul makes an amazing statement. He says “But covet earnestly the best gifts, yet I show you a more excellent way” (vs. 31) How could he ask us to set our hearts on something that we can’t have? I don’t believe that he would, which leads the discussion back to “Ask and ye shall receive” (Luke 11). I believe that all of the gifts are available according to the faith of the individual and how he or she is invested in a ministry that will yield to the Holy Spirit. Are not these gifts to the church as evidence of the love of God and his willingness to edify (charge up), give courage and comfort us?
Yet Paul’s point in chapter 13 is that without the Agape (unconditional love of God), none of the gifts have relevance. All of God’s gifts work by love. Without love they have no context and nothing to act upon. Agape love is the string that ties it all together. It is the beginning of the evidence that one has a well of living water within.