Foundations: Grow in Faith – Patience, the Achilles heel of Faith
Main Course: 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-8)
There are 7 levels of perfection in faith (virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly love, charity= the ultimate goal is for us to live to give to others (a selfless life, one like Jesus). However many like myself, we stumble when we get to patience (endurance). It’s like an Achilles heel for us*. We bottom out and become disoriented by the longevity of the trial or the confusion that surrounds it. It’s like we get stuck in the middle, get half way down the road and quit! When the Bible plainly tells us not to get weary in well doing, to keep our focus (Gal 6:9). But none of this is possible if we are not diligent to renew our minds daily (Philip 2:5; Josh 1:7-9).
We take too lightly our assignment, but the enemy knows the impact of it and he maneuvers himself accordingly to knock us out of the game (1 Pet 5:8; 2 Tim 1:7). But we have to learn how to run and not be weary and walk and not faint (Is 40:31). You win the race by enduring to the end (Gal 5:9; Heb 12:1). Adding to our faith virtue is on God’s time clock and is not monitored by us because we are led by the Spirit. He orchestrates the times and seasons/movements in our lives toward perfection and growth (to be conformed into His image).
In Christ, the purpose of growth and maturity is to bear fruit, to reproduce or be productive for the kingdom of God. Are you growing in faith?
*An Achilles' heel is a weakness in spite of overall strength, which can actually or potentially lead to downfall. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, idiomatic references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common (Wikipedia).