HOPING AND WAITING
"It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord" (Lam. 3:26).
Now we come to the last verse upon which we will meditate at present. “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”
HOPING AND WAITING
In the first place, “It is good that a man should hope for the salvation of Jehovah.” Regarding the word salvation here, it is to be understood as it is generally used in the Old Testament, riot merely deliverance from sin and punishment, as it is generally used in the New Testament, but in the wider sense of the word, deliverance generally. Thus it does not here mean only deliverance for the soul—though that is not excluded—but it means deliverance generally from trial, temptation, sorrow and difficulty. For this salvation or deliverance, it is good for us to hope in the Lord. All of us at times find ourselves under circumstances from which we need deliverance; then it is good to hope for salvation from Jehovah. Are we doing so? It is the will of the Lord regarding us. It is here stated that it is good to do so and you will find it is good—practically and experimentally you will find it to be good in your own soul. The devil’s aim, when trial and affliction come, is to whisper to your heart—“Ah, this may last for ever?” “I shall never get out of this.” You are looking forward anticipating a life-long burden. Listen to Jesus, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Leave everything in the hands of God. Aim at being in such a position, that you can look to Him, and seek from Him, grace for the present day; and He will give it. As for tomorrow, if it comes, the Lord will give grace for it also.
Remember, when the thought comes into your mind, “I shall never get rid of this;” that it is good for a man to hope for the salvation of Jehovah; He will deliver. Trial and affliction will come; well, never mind, deliverance will also come, for the Lord is good. If you do not hold fast this hope, if you lose it, and give up the comfort that God would bestow upon your soul, then you will find yourself losing the comfort and strength you would otherwise have. Therefore I say, hold it fast.
Remember the memorable passage in Psalm xxvii. 13, where David says, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” All my strength would be completely taken away, except I were expecting to see better days. That is what we have to do, to be looking out for brighter and happier days, more blessed and cheerful days, which the Lord will send if we wait for Him. That is the thought which comes from the Spirit of God; the other thought, that of hopelessness, comes from the evil one in order that, if possible, he may make us wretched, and that we should give up hoping in God, and should sit down in despair, as if no good were possible. But “it is good that a man should hope for the salvation of Jehovah.” And this is not all; it is said, moreover, it is good that he should quietly wait for the salvation of Jehovah. Thus, we have not only to hope, but we have to wait, and wait quietly. This you and I cannot naturally do. We want to have our deliverance at once; we would have it today, and do not want to wait, or that it should be delayed. And if it does not come when we want it, the temptation is to think ourselves wiser than God, to begin to complain, to be dissatisfied, and even to begin to murmur, because it is so. Now, all this is dishonouring to God, and should not be. The will of God is, that we should make known our requests to Him; in the meantime leave ourselves in His hand. And, for our comfort, remember the words, “All things work together for good to them that love God.” This should sustain us in the meantime, together with the hope that He will finally deliver us. And if this deliverance is not yet, then our business is, quietly to wait., and by quietly waiting, to honour God; because then it will be known to those who see us, that we have a Father in heaven, a Father who cares for us; and that we are watched over and cared for; and that we trust and rely upon the Father in the assurance that “all things Work together for good for them that love God.” Let us seek to carry away a blessing.
THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER
First of all, then, let us remember that, whatever trials or afflictions befall us, it is nothing at all to what we deserve. We all deserve eternal punishment, even hell. Therefore let us say with the prophet, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.”
The next point is, that Jehovah Himself is our portion and our hope. Let us be satisfied with nothing short of this, that God Himself is our all.
The third point which I desire you specially to carry away is, that when trials and afflictions come, as come they will, we remember that “it is good to hope and to wait for the salvation of Jehovah;” and not only that we begin to wait, but that we go on quietly waiting till the deliverance comes. And then it becomes us to bless and praise God for what He has done.
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