Excerpt From God’s Gift of Perfection Series
Chapter 24—Part 2
"Let patience have its perfect work." We are so often impatient with ourselves, not content to trust God to do His work, that we hinder, just when we want to hurry on His work. We are impatient with God. Instead of the adoring trust of Him, the God of peace, who is perfecting us, we worry ourselves because we do not see what we had thought out for ourselves. "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" (Psalm 37:7) is the law of faith, not only in times of abundance, but especially in the path of perfection. Faith is the law of the Christian life to an extent that very few realize. The assurance that rests in the unseen power that is working out its Holy Purpose will never be disappointed. As it has been said of an elderly saint,
"She was sure that, however long any soul might have to continue in the path of humiliation, with self-emptying, the end, with all who were faithful, would one day be a filling to overflowing of all their inward being with the presence of the Holy One."
"Let patience have its perfect work." This is the command. To those who obey it, the potential offered is certain, "that you may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing." How words are heaped up to make us feel what the aim and expectation of the believer ought to be! Perfect, something finished, that satisfies its purpose; entire, that in which every part is in its place; and lacking in nothing, just all that the Father expects: such is the Christian character as God’s Spirit sets it before us. There is a perfection which the Christian is to regard as his duty and his life. Where patience has its perfect work, it will bring forth what the farmer longs for—fruit unto perfection. "God’s work in man is the man. If God’s teaching by patience has a perfect work in you, you are perfect."
But where there is to be this perfect fruit, there must first be the perfect seed. And that seed is the perfect heart. Without this, from what source could patience have its perfect work? With this, every trial, every difficulty, every failure even, is accepted as God’s training school, and God is trusted as the Faithful One, who is perfecting His own work. Let there be first the perfect heart—that will lead to perfect patience, and that again to the fully perfected man.
Jesus Christ was Himself not perfected in one day: it took time; in Him patience had its perfect work. True faith recognizes the need of time, and rests in God. And time to us means days and years. Let us learn each day to renew the vow: "This day I will live for God as perfectly as His grace will enable me. This day I will, in the patience of hope, trust the God of all grace, who Himself is perfecting me. This day I will be perfect and entire, lacking nothing." With such a vow renewed day by day, with faith in Christ who has perfected us, and God who is perfecting us, patience will do its perfect work. And we will be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.
Previously Perfect Patience—Part 1