“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7
In this psalm, the writer seems to be waiting for deliverance from discipline and for the Lord to deal with the wicked around him. But it got me to thinking about the different applications this statement, this picture of waiting and hoping, has in our lives.
We wait for Him to guide us perfectly, and we hope in Him because of passages like Psalm 31:3, “For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead and guide me,” and Psalm 18:30, “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”
We wait for Him to hear our cry and respond in faithfulness, and we hope because of Scriptures such as Daniel 9:23, “At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved.”
We wait for assurances that we are truly forgiven, that God’s grace covers us and His Spirit renews us, and we hope based on 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
We wait for God to be glorified in us, for His strengthening in and through our suffering, and we hope in Him as we cling to Job 23:10, “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold,” and Psalm 73:26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
We wait for Him to accomplish His every purpose for us, and we hope because of verses like Job 23:14, “For he will complete what he appoints for me, and many such things are in his mind.”
We wait to see our Lord’s provision for our every need, and we hope in Him as we recall Deuteronomy 8:2-7: “And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness…he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna…Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell…For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land.”
We wait for our God to be faithful in our most desperate moments, holding fast to our hope in Him as we read Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope,” and Jeremiah 31:16-17a, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your work, declares the LORD…There is hope for your future.’”
We wait for Him to show us that we aren’t too messed up to know His grace, that our sickness isn’t too great and our sin isn’t too vile, and we hope because of the love Christ showed to the leper in Matthew 8:2-3: “And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.’ And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I will, be clean.’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”
We wait for God to be our righteous defender and our just Lord of both truth and grace, and we hope in Him based on Scriptures such as Romans 12:19, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’” And in those moments when it seems that He isn’t coming through, when we don’t see Him at work in righteousness, we hold to Deuteronomy 32:4, “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he,” and we recall 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
In it all, we declare that our God is in control of everything and we have a steadfast hope in Him. He will be faithful. He will come through. He is for us and will never fail. He is with us and will never leave. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1b).