Shaking the Gifts!December 11, 2017
For ye have need of patience….
— Hebrews 10:36
Oh, how I looked forward to Christmas morning as a young boy, when we would finally be able to open all the gifts under the Christmas tree! Day by day, Daddy and Mother would gradually add gifts, and the pile of presents would grow higher and higher. I’d always wonder, Did they get me what I really wanted? What is inside those beautifully wrapped boxes?
As the Christmas gifts begin to stack up around the base of the Christmas tree, I’d feel a strong temptation to vigorously shake the boxes up and down to try to figure out what was inside. I remember Daddy telling me to stop and to put them back in their places under the tree. That urge to shake the gifts and “guess” their contents was too great a temptation to resist! In fact, all three of us siblings — Ronda, Lori, and I — got in trouble multiple times each year for giving in to that temptation! It would only be a short time before we’d be allowed to open those gifts, but the desire to figure out what was inside them was almost too much for us to control. Maybe you can relate to this as you remember back to your childhood!
One year, Ronda even coaxed me to get up after everyone was asleep and join her in secretly unwrapping all the gifts to find out what they were. Once we examined all the presents, we carefully rewrapped each gift so we wouldn’t get caught and get in trouble. To our misfortune, we weren’t that good at rewrapping, so Daddy and Mother figured out what we had done — and we got in trouble anyway! Even worse, it took all the fun out of Christmas morning because we already knew what was in every gift box. And the saddest part was that it really took the joy out of the event for our parents, who were so disappointed that they missed the thrill of seeing us surprised as we discovered what was in each wrapped gift.
Patience is something that everyone struggles with in life. Whether it’s a child who wants a gift immediately, a teenager who wants a car, a wife who wants a new dress, or a husband who wants a new car or fishing boat — in some respect, everyone has to learn the lesson of patience.
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In Hebrews 10:36, the Bible says, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” We know that the Bible is full of promises that are part of our inheritance in Christ. Every one of those promises is a “gift” to unwrap. But if you’ve walked any length of time with the Lord, you know that there is sometimes a period of waiting between the “believing” that a particular gift from Heaven is yours and the “unwrapping” of that gift!
Perhaps there is a particular promise that you have released your faith to receive, and it seems that the manifestation of that promise keeps being delayed again and again. Maybe that promise even involves God’s good plan for your life and the fulfillment of the very reason He put you on this earth. To you, the Bible says, “For ye have need of patience….”
The word “patience” is the Greek word hupomeno, a compound of hupo and meno. The word hupo means to firmly stand by a thing, and the word meno means to resolutely stay in one spot with no intention to move for any reason. When compounded, they form the word hupomeno, which is the resolute decision that you will receive what you desire and that you will not be moved by any situation until you receive it. It is to be immovable until the thing prayed for is manifested.
Inherent in this word hupomeno is the implication that situations will arise in life that will try to move you off your targeted goal. But with hupomeno working inside you, you have the ability to outlast any competition or obstacle and stay on course until you’ve fully done the will of God — and at long last, you receive the coveted prize of your faith.
Spiritually speaking, if you’ve asked the Father for a specific thing that He has already promised you in His Word, there is no need for you to go about “shaking boxes” to see if He has given you what you’ve released your faith to receive. In fact, “shaking the gift” to figure out what is in it should alert you that you’re still not fully in faith about your request!
You have to find what God has said about the matter in His Word and get it settled in your heart. That promise is sitting “wrapped under the tree,” and it already has your name on it!
So whenever you’re feeling impatient about God’s timing, don’t start trying to figure out in your mind what’s in the box before He’s ready for you to open it. Trust the Lord that He has His best in store for you. If you’ve asked in faith, God will do what you’ve asked Him to do in Jesus’ name. The timing may be a little different than what you anticipated, but you can rest assured that God will come through for you — because He is faithful and He cannot lie (see Titus 1:2).
Your part is to obey God, believe His Word, let hupomeno work inside you, and enter into the rest of faith (see Hebrews 4:3). As you do, it will only be a matter of time until you receive exactly what the Father has desired to give you all along. That is the promise of Hebrews 10:36!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I repent for my impatience as I wait for the fulfillment of what I’ve asked You to do for me. In a certain sense, I’ve been “shaking the gifts” and not trusting that You would do what You said You would do. Waiting a little longer won’t hurt me. In fact, it will help me develop my character and learn patience. For this, I say thank You. And for my impatience, I ask You to forgive me and to help me keep growing in this aspect of my life.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that patience is a strong force in my life. As I walk with Christ and learn to trust in Him ever more dearly, the attribute of patience is growing stronger and stronger in me. I don’t have to mistrust the Lord or check Him out to see if He is really doing what I asked. If I have asked for something in faith, it’s only a matter of time until what I’ve prayed for comes to pass!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Spiritually speaking, did you ever “shake the boxes” to see if God had done what He has promised to do for you? Is it possible that you haven’t fully trusted Him and have tried to figure out what He is doing in your own natural reasoning?
- How are you doing in the “patience realm” of your life? Do your actions reveal a need for growth in this area?
- Think about how much pleasure it gives God when you ask Him to do something and then simply trust Him to do Are you giving God this pleasure, or are you disappointing Him by continually checking to see if He is going to be faithful?