I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord, more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let all Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
CHARLES BRIDGES (1794-1869): The Lord usually trains his servants to waiting, and to much conflict in their way to His immediate service.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God’s warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, but simply wait.
JOHN MILTON (1608-1674): They also serve who only stand and wait.
C. H. SPURGEON: “He that waiteth on his master shall be honoured,” Proverbs 27:18, even though the waiting be almost passive. Sometimes our master may not require us to do anything more than stand still. But you know John, the footman, behind his master’s chair—if his master bids him stand there, he is as true a servant as the other attendant who is sent upon an errand of the utmost importance. The Lord for wise reasons may make us wait awhile. Having done all, we may yet have to stand still and see the salvation of God, and we find it to be the hardest work of all. In suffering especially is that the case; for it is painful to be laid aside from the Master’s service; yet the position may be very honourable. There is a time for soldiers to lie in the trenches as well as to fight in the battle.
JAMES VAUGHAN (circa 1878): Waiting is a great part of life’s discipline, and therefore God often exercises the grace of waiting. Waiting has four purposes. It practices the patience of faith. It gives time for preparation for the coming gift. It makes the blessing the sweeter when it arrives. And it shows the sovereignty of God—to give just when, and just as He pleases.
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): There is no place for faith if we expect God to fulfill immediately what He promises.
C. H. SPURGEON: Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the case before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of aid. In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is sweet to be humble as a child, and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly, and are heartily willing to be guided by the will of God.
R. C. CHAPMAN (1803-1902): The best answers to prayer are those we have to wait and trust for. If we are answered quickly, let us be thankful; but let us be assured that by and by God will change His method with us, and that we shall be often made to wait.
C. H. SPURGEON: But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in Him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting, is but an insult to the Lord. Believe that if He keep you tarrying even till midnight, yet He will come at the right time; the vision shall come and shall not tarry. Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because you are under the affliction, but blessing your God for it. Never murmur against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the case as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, “Now, Lord, not my will, but Thine be done. I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities, but I will wait until Thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes. I will wait, if Thou keep me waiting many a day, for my heart is fixed upon Thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for Thee in the full conviction that Thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower.”
JOHN CALVIN: As we act unjustly towards God when we hope for nothing from Him but what our senses can perceive, so we pay Him the highest honour, when, in affairs of perplexity, we nevertheless entirely acquiesce in His providence.
EDMUND CALAMY (1600-1666): But now, the promises are the wings of prayer. Prayer without a promise is as a bird without wings. Therefore we read both of Jacob and Jehosaphat, how they urged God in their prayer, with His promises, Genesis 32:9-12; 2 Chronicles 20:5-12.
JOHN BUNYAN (1628-1688): Remember also the Word—the Word, I say, upon which the Lord hath caused you to hope.
JAMES VAUGHAN: The picture of the waiting man is a striking one. It is as one on the ridge of a journey, looking onward on his way, standing on tiptoe, and therefore needing something to lean on, and to support him…Take care that you have a promise underneath you—“In His Word do I hope.”
JOHN CALVIN: For it is certain that faith cannot stand, unless it be founded on the promises of God…The word hope I take for faith; and indeed hope is nothing else but the constancy of faith.
JOHN BUNYAN: Hope is never ill when faith is well.
STEPHEN CHARNOCK (1628-1680): Faith doth ultimately centre in the Deity. God Himself in His glorious nature, is the ultimate object whereunto our faith is resolved. The promise, simply considered, is not the object of trust, but God in the promise; and from the consideration of that we ascend to the Deity, and cast our anchor there. “Hope in the word” is the first act, but succeeded by hoping in the Lord―“In his word do I hope:” that is not all; but, “Let all Israel hope in the Lord.” That is the ultimate object of faith, wherein the essence of our happiness consists, and that is God. God himself is the true and full portion of the soul.
JAMES VAUGHAN: Let it not be so much the event which you wait for, as the Lord of the event, and the Lord in the event.
MARY WINSLOW (1774-1854): This is your God, too. And though He tries the faith of His people, He will appear. Remember Joseph was two long years in prison, after he had got the promise from the chief butler; and no doubt his faith was sharply tried, for God had partly given him the promise, by enabling him to interpret the dream. But, at last, the promise was fulfilled, and the blessing came in rich abundance. Take courage, He is the same now that He ever was.