BY KENNETH HAGIN JR.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering [patience], gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance …. – Galatians 5:22,23
A missing ingredient to receiving from God is the little word patience. Few Christians realize the importance of having patience in their lives. Patience is what you need in order to be an overcomer. I don’t think believers understand that sometimes. We talk about being an overcomer, but I don’t think we understand that it takes patience to overcome. As the saying goes: “Some things don’t happen overnight.”
Jesus said, “In your patience possess ye your souls” (Luke 21:19). Impatience is probably the foremost reason why prayers go unanswered. Get hold of that!
Many people pray and believe God. But when things don’t happen when they think they’re supposed to, they get impatient and begin to wonder. They begin to say, “Well, why didn’t it happen?” As a result, they get themselves out of faith, and, therefore, their prayers will not be answered as long as they’re in that vein of thinking. I think we all have made this mistake if we’ll be honest with ourselves.
Some things we pray for happen instantly, and other things happen gradually. For example, there’s no gradual salvation experience. No person was ever gradually filled with the Holy Spirit. But when we pray
for people and things such as our loved ones, finances, jobs, and so forth, we should keep expecting until we receive an answer. In other words, we need to have patience. The Bible says in James that “… the
trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:2).
For instance, we might be praying that a loved one be saved. But God doesn’t force people to get saved against their will. So we have to be patient while God works things around so that they will be willing to
receive salvation. Don’t ever pray, “God, save my family.” God already has done all He’s ever going to do about saving them. Jesus died on the Cross that they could be saved. He’s already done it. The way to pray for lost loved ones is to pray, “Lord, send laborers across their path that they might believe in Your Word and come to know You.”
I’ve heard people pray, “Oh, God, save my loved ones. Oh, God, save the lost.” But you don’t have to persuade Him to save the lost. He’s already done it through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. God
wants them to receive salvation.
I think sometimes if we would understand the truth of things, we would get our prayers answered better and more efficiently. Now when you’re praying for finances, God won’t send an airplane or a bird overhead to drop money on you.
Have you ever prayed for God to meet your need and then had to wait a day or two, or a week or even a month in faith? But if you keep patiently expecting and believing, God will see that it happens.
Sometimes it’s hard to have that kind of patience and just keep believing the Bible, especially when you don’t see anything happening. The devil will jump on your shoulder, so to speak, and say, “See, I
told you that stuff wouldn’t work.” But, patiently, you have to keep saying, “The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it.”
God never promised to instantly answer our prayers, and He never promised us instant healing or instant miracles. God said, “…they SHALL lay hands on the sick, and they SHALL recover” (Mark 16:18). Now you could recover instantly, or you could recover over a period of time. Understand that as you believe God and hold on patiently to His Word with your faith, God will answer your prayer.
If you’ll remember the story of Daniel, he prayed and prayed, but his answer didn’t come immediately. Daniel prayed for twenty-one days. When the angel finally came with the answer, the angel said, “You were heard the first day you prayed. I was dispatched the first day you prayed.” But the prince of Persia withstood him, or, in other words, fought against him (Dan. 10:12,13).
I want you to notice that in certain scriptures, it says, “You shall have whatever you ask or whatsoever you believe” (1 John 5:14,15; Mark 11:24). If you’ll notice, this phrase “you shall have” is found in
several promises throughout God’s Word.
Did you notice the phrase “it shall be done” is also in many promises (Matt. 18:19; 21:21; John 15:7)? Is “shall be done” present tense or future tense? It’s future! So what’s going to happen? If you believe
God, the manifestation shall take place. When? Maybe right then, and maybe the next minute, the next day, or next year. But your part is to continually and patiently believe and quote the Word of God and let God take care of the “shall be done.” Too many of us want the “shall” to be right now. That’s not our prerogative; it’s God’s. What we’re to do is simply believe what the Bible says and let God take care of it when it happens.
Consider the area of healing, for example. Many people are prayed for, and the minute the symptoms don’t leave, they become impatient and say, “Well, I didn’t think that stuff would work anyway.” I’ve been around the ministry all my life, and I’ve seen hundreds of people give up on their healing before they ever left the church.
Back in the healing revival days of the 50’s, my father would sometimes preach under tents. Back then, the preachers used to sit on a chair on the edge of the platform and pray for people as they walked by. I once saw a guy with a cane who was prayed for and afterward, he threw his cane down and ran off the platform. His healing manifested instantly. But in some cases, it would be 30 or 40 minutes after prayer before the people realized they didn’t need their canes anymore. You would see people healed by God’s healing power over a period of time during those services. Yet, you would see others who, because they would see others healed instantly, would give up on their healing, saying, “Well, I didn’t think it would work anyway.” When their healing didn’t happen the way they thought it was supposed to happen, they’d give up on it.
Many Christians want to try to dictate to God how something is supposed to be done. It doesn’t work that way, because you don’t dictate to God. A lot of people want to start believing after they’ve received the manifestation of what they have asked for. But why do you want to believe something when you already have it? When you already have it, you don’t have to believe for it. According to the Word of God, we are to believe we receive in advance the things we want or need. Once we have it, we don’t have to believe anymore, because it’s already in existence in this realm. For example, I don’t have to believe for a Bible cover, because I already have one. Why should I believe for something that I already have?
Now I don’t care how much you confess that God is going to do something on your timetable. We are to believe God to meet our specific needs. We are to tell Him what that need is, but He is the One who takes care of answering our prayers. All of your impatience, all of your tears, and all of your begging are not going to get God in a hurry. I can prove it in the story of Lazarus.
3 There his (Lazarus’) sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was ….
21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
We see in verse 6 that after Jesus had received news of Lazarus, He was slow to react to the situation. Notice His reaction. Jesus didn’t get in any hurry. In verse 21, Martha said in so many words, “Oh, if You’d just come here sooner.” And Jesus responded by telling her to simply believe in Him (v. 26).
So many times believers say, “Oh, if only the Lord would have moved sooner.” No, praise God, just believe everything is going to be all right. We need to realize that faith is a force that is built into us
by knowing what God’s Word says. When you know what God’s Word says, you don’t get impatient.
I remember when I was a young boy, we once had a special need in our family. We prayed about the need around the table. We had to have money in the bank by a certain time. I thought that surely it would come when the mail came. But the mail came, and there wasn’t any money. The doorbell rang, and I said, “Oh, it must be something.” But, no, it was just a friend coming over. My father didn’t get excited about the situation. He simply said, “It’s going to be all right.”
I never will forget it. Just before the bank was about to close, we received a special delivery, and my father went to the bank to take care of the situation. But, you see, if he had listened to us, his faith probably would have been nullified, because we weren’t exercising patience. We were trying to figure out how it was going to happen.
You must learn not to give up on God, and He won’t give up on you. Understand that God is faithful. Notice what Paul said in Romans 4. ROMANS 4:19-21
19 And being not weak in faith, he [Abraham] considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb:
20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
We need to get hold of several things in these verses. Notice in verse 20 that Abraham staggered not at the promise of God. Many of us stagger at the promise of God because of circumstances and because someone told us something couldn’t be done. A doctor might have given us a bad report. Yet God’s Word says something else. When we side against God’s Word, we waver and stagger, not fully putting our trust in the Word.
I want you to notice that the miracle came to pass because Abraham considered not his own body. It was silly in the natural for Abraham and Sarah to think they were going to have any kids because it was
medically impossible. But Abraham considered not that fact. He staggered not at the promise of God. The Bible says, “… With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). You
see, God can take care of us if we don’t waver or stagger.
Abraham was also fully persuaded that God was going to do what He had promised. Fully persuaded means that you will die before you say it’s not so. A lot of people are talking about how much they believe God, how persuaded they are, and that God will take care of them. But it’s often another thing when they’re facing a crisis.
You find out whether you are fully persuaded or whether you are just agreeing out of mental assent by what you do when the chips are down, so to speak.
It’s easy to talk about what God can do. Listen to the story of missionaries who have faced violent persecution. Some have actually had guns put to their head. It’s in situations like that you find out if
you really believe the power of God can take care of you.
I read a story once about a wellknown evangelist. This evangelist had a meeting in Kansas, and, night after night, a certain fellow came to the meetings. The left side of his face was covered with a huge skin
cancer, which resembled a bad burn. Finally, one night the man came in the healing line, and the evangelist laid hands on him and prayed for him. He said to the evangelist, “Thank you. I’m healed.” The man went back to his seat, but nothing had changed.
The man was praising God and having a fantastic time, saying, “Oh, thank You, Lord. Thank You. I’m healed! My body is well.” A woman who was sitting close by began to make fun of him. She said, “What do you think you’re doing, saying you’re healed! You’re not healed. Look, here’s a mirror. Can’t you still see that thing?” He said, “It doesn’t make any difference. The moment I was prayed for, God killed the
The woman laughed at him, and the people who were sitting around were also skeptical. The man just kept thanking God.
One day went by, and the man was still thanking God as he came back to the next service. Two days went by, and he was still thanking God while coming back to the meetings. Three days went by, and he was still thanking God. Four days went by, and the man was still thanking God. He still didn’t look any different. Five days went by, and he was still thanking God. All day long he was praising God. The sixth day the man was praising God, and the cancer fell off his face, roots and all!
He went back that night to the meeting, praising God. Someone said, “Oh, you got your healing.” He said, “Yeah, I got it when I was prayed for. God cursed and killed the cancer. It began drying up from the
roots then, and I’ve just been thanking and praising God for it.” The people began to praise God then because they saw it!
We have too many people in the “saw” category. But God said to believe and stagger not. Be fully persuaded that He’s going to do what He said and just keep praising Him until it comes to pass!
If you will take hold of God’s Word and patiently praise Him, you will see it happen. Patience is the missing ingredient for your prayers to be answered. Impatience is the ingredient that nullifies your faith and causes your prayers to be of no avail. I want to encourage you to learn how to be patient and hold fast your profession of faith based on the Word of God. Get hold of God’s Word and hold on to it. It doesn’t matter what you see, feel, or think. Consider not, stagger not, and be fully persuaded, giving glory to God!
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE WORD OF FAITH, MAY 2000, PAGES 23-25. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.