The Perfect Work of Patience

Michael Beck

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:4)

There are times when we’re ready to throw in the towel. We’ve had enough. We want to turn the page. The chapter of life we’re in has grown way too long in our eyes. But who is writing the story of our life? Are we the author and finisher of our faith? Are we the Potter or are we the clay? God knows what we have need of far better than we do. We know where we would like to go; He knows where He is taking us. “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)

We long for a change of scenery; God longs to see us transformed into His image. The end of our faith is our being “perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:4) But such cannot happen unless we “let patience have her perfect work.” It is divine irony that God uses our days of “want” to bring us to a place of “wanting nothing.” But God’s “nothing” is not man’s “nothing.” God’s nothing is “no good thing” as He sees it. “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11)

God would give us grace and bring us to glory. But the means to His ends are rarely to our liking. He would use thorns in the flesh to give us more grace; and crosses to bring us to glory. If we are to get to God’s destination for our life we must run the race set before us with patience. Delay in reaching our goals facilitates progress in reaching God’s goals.

Giving up prematurely might gain us some earthly good, but it will leave us wanting the good that God intended to work within us. The perfect work of patience lets our Potter put the finishing touches on the masterpiece He wants to create. We are His workmanship! Stay on the wheel until the Master sees what He wants to see.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.