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WAITING! SEEKING! EXPECTING!

Lamentations is a book in the Old Testament that we don’t read too often. Even its name, “Lamentations”, may make us think of gloom and doom. But I was drawn to one familiar passage in Lamentations 3: 19-26. I was particularly struck by verses 25-26:

“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, [or “who wait for him”] to the one [or “the soul”] who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” [NIV].

We all want to know the Lord’s goodness to us don’t we? But the idea of ‘waiting for God’, the work of ‘seeking God’, and the patience of ‘quiet expectation of his salvation’ are the things we should concentrate on. In the pressures of the storms of life and ministry, these things are important for us to remember. So what does it mean to:

Wait for God? I believe the NIV has it correctly as ‘hope’, because the focus on God’s goodness is difficult for the one who is broken-hearted like the writer. So, he and we need to look beyond our current difficulties and trust in the God who promises deliverance ‘to those whose hope is in him’ [See Psalm 27: 14; Titus 2: 11-15]. But it isn’t a passive waiting on God because we need to commit ourselves while we wait for deliverance to…

The work of ‘seeking God’. It means that we exercise ‘hope’ by living by faith while we wait. Seeking God will mean looking where we know we will find Him. We will find Him in the Bible, so we must seek Him as we read and meditate on and apply what we find there as we wait. We must seek Him in prayer, speaking to His heart from our heart. We must seek Him expecting to find Him [See Psalm 105:4; Jeremiah 29: 13]. Friends, there is no substitute for the often hard work of ‘seeking God’ in His Word and by prayer. But in the waiting and working, we are looking forward in…

Quiet expectation of His salvation. Waiting can cause us great anxiety can’t it? Seeking God can sometimes be frustrating as answers seem slow in coming. Sometimes our persistent cries for help drown out God’s voice telling us to “stay calm, I have things in hand”. The word ‘quietly’ means in Hebrew to be ‘peaceful,’ or ‘tranquil’ while we wait. It has the idea of ‘security, or safety’ behind it, so its link with ‘the salvation of the Lord’ is clearly established. Although ‘salvation’ may seem like a future reality for us as we wait, there is a certainty that should an effective reality here and now. It is this certainty of the ‘salvation of the Lord’ that will help us to know that we are secure and safe at all times. In knowing that, we can ‘wait quietly’ even when the storms of life rage all around us. [See Psalm 46].

It hardly seems like doom and gloom does it really? An old hymn by Horatio G. Spafford comes to mind here:

“When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul.”.

To the broken-hearted; to the faint-hearted; to those of us whose hearts are just plain weary; while we wait for the salvation of the Lord, let Him teach us to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

‘Waiting quietly for the Lord is not about wondering if God will save, but knowing He will.’

Blessings,
Pastor Frank.




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