Posted by: glorifyhim1 | June 15, 2016

Waiting for Hope

Waiting for Hope

I recently ran across a quote from George Matheson, a 19th century Scottish minister and hymn writer. He stated: “Waiting with hope is very difficult, but true patience is expressed when we must even wait for hope. I will have reached the point of greatest strength once I have learned to wait for hope.” Oh, how true! Sometimes, often in our hardest or darkest hours, it’s not a matter of waiting with hope, we find ourselves waiting for hope itself.

As I watched the news coverage of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, my heart ached for the loss of so many young lives. Without doubt, loved ones who mourn their loss wait for hope. Walk the corridors of any hospital and you’ll surely encounter countless others dealing with life-threatening or debilitating illnesses who also wait for hope. It is probably safe to say that all of us, at one time or another, have experienced what it means to wait for hope.

Men and women whom we read about in the Bible are no exception. I think of Moses and the struggles he faced as he led the Israelites to the promised land, Abraham as he dared to believe God’s promise when Sarah was way past the age to bear a child, Joseph as his brothers sold him into slavery, Joshua and Caleb when the people rejected their report about the land God wanted them to go in and possess. And who has not heard of Job who in one day fell victim to four separate disasters that claimed his property and the lives of his children? Surely, all of these and many others we read about in Scripture found themselves waiting for hope.

But what does it mean to wait for hope? When hope seems elusive, how do we wait for it? How do we discover it? I think we can gain insights from Psalm 62 which was written by King David when he was truly in a desperate situation.

“Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be greatly moved.

How long will you attack a man?
You shall be slain, all of you,
Like a leaning wall and a tottering fence.
They only consult to cast him down from his high position;
They delight in lies;
They bless with their mouth,
But they curse inwardly. Selah

My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God.

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah

Surely men of low degree are a vapor,
Men of high degree are a lie;
If they are weighed on the scales,
They are altogether lighter than vapor.
10 Do not trust in oppression,
Nor vainly hope in robbery;
If riches increase,
Do not set your heart on them.

11 God has spoken once,
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God.
12 Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy;
For You render to each one according to his work.”

 

It is believed that this psalm was written when David’s own son, Absalom, rebelled against him and plotted to usurp his father’s throne. As if this were not bad enough, David also learns that Absalom has conspired with many of David’s trusted friends and advisors in his scheme. Can you imagine the sense of loss and betrayal that David must have felt? The book of 2 Samuel, Chapter 15 recounts this story. Verse 30 probably best captures David’s emotions as he and those with him fled Jerusalem: So David went up by the Ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered and went barefoot. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went up.”

But although sorrowing, David had learned that while events he faced could dim and seemingly extinguish his hope, he could still have hope as he trusted in God and waited on Him.

  • David found peace as he silently waited for God (v.1 – “my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation.”).
  • David found rest as he clung to God, His rock and defense (v.2 – “He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense.”).
  • David found strength as he relied on God (v.7 – “In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.”).

And then in verse 8, David urges all believers: “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”

Like David, I’m learning that true hope is found in God alone. I cannot control what others do. I cannot even control what I always do. I cannot always control events that claim my hope. But when I take my need to Him, pour out my heart before Him, and surrender it all to Him, I find peace, rest, and strength – my greatest strength – as I trust in God and silently wait for the hope that only He can give.

 

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