Wait on the Lord
By James Smith, of Cheltenham, New York, 1869.
"Lead me in your truth, and teach me; for you are the God
of my salvation; on you do I wait all the day." Psalm 25:5
The Lord intends to keep his people dependent upon
himself. He has everything they can need. He intends to supply all their
needs; but he will be applied to. He will have his people wait on him, and
wait for him. In doing so, he will try their faith, fortitude, patience, and
perseverance. He will sometimes put them to a severe test, but he will never
fail them, forsake them, or leave them destitute. If they trust in him,
plead with him, and wait on him, they will be raised to a state of
comparative security, for they need not fear any man, or any circumstance,
or any state they can be in. The Lord will be to them their God. He will do
for them all that God can do; and that is, all they can require, all that is
consistent with their welfare and his own glory.
Believer, you may be independent of all creation by
realizing your dependence upon your God, and waiting upon him continually.
You must believe the love he has to you, his watchful care over you, his
delight in you, the promises he has given you, the provision he has made for
you, the glory he will get by you, and the honor to which he intends to
raise you. In so doing, the fear of man will die, joy in God will spring up,
the peace of God will fill your heart and mind, your dependence on creatures
will cease, and you will be happy in looking only to the Lord. "My soul,
wait only upon God; for my expectation is from him." "Wait on the Lord, and
keep his way, and he shall exalt you to inherit the land– when the wicked
are cut off, you shall see it"
Wait in all CIRCUMSTANCES.
You can be in no circumstances in which the Lord can not
help you, in which he will not help you, if you look simply to him, rest on
him, and wait for him. For every condition in which you may be placed, there
is a promise; by that promise the Lord stands pledged to appear for you and
help you; he is ever ready to deliverer you; only he will have you believe
his word, exercise confidence in him, plead the promise at his throne, and
wait for its fulfillment. Wait, then, on the Lord at all times. Times will
change, creatures will vary, but the Lord remains always the same. In youth
and health, in manhood and prosperity, in old age and its infirmities, we
should wait on the Lord. He will adapt his mercies to us, make all his
goodness pass before us, and cause all things to work together for our good.
He will never leave us, change his views of us, or withhold his tender
mercies from us. He is faithful to his word, true to his character, and full
of love to his people.
Whatever change there may be in creatures, there is no
change in him. Health may give way to sickness, plenty to poverty, strength
to weakness, and life to death, but he is the same. With him there is no
variableness, neither shadow of a turn. Therefore, "wait on the Lord; be of
good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord."
Wait for LIGHT IN DARKNESS.
Dark seasons you will have, for it is the lot of all
Christians. A cloud may come over your prospects, and the sentence of death
may be passed on many of your comforts. Your gourd may be smitten and
wither, and the Lord may take away the desire of your eyes with a stroke. He
may seem to turn against you, to turn his hand against you all the day.
There may be no sweet intimations of his love, no pleasant communion with
him at his throne, no sensible communion with him in his ordinances– all
within may be cold, cheerless, and dreary; and all without disheartening and
discouraging. Instead of success, there may be losses; instead of comfort,
trouble; instead of friendship, enmity and alienation. Business may decline;
employment may fail; health may give way; all things may seem to be against
But however discouraging your circumstances may be,
however dull and dreary you may be in your soul, or cast down on account of
the difficulties of the way, still wait on the Lord, nor shall you wait in
Deep and almost overwhelming were the trials, distresses,
and soul troubles of David, but though his soul was cast down within him, he
waited on the Lord, and he has recorded the result– "I waited patiently for
the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also
out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock,
and established my goings. And he has put a new song in my mouth, even
praise unto our God– many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the
However dark, then, your way, however trying your
circumstances, however severe the exercises of your soul, still wait on the
Lord; hold fast by the promise; so "shall your light rise in obscurity, and
your darkness be as the noonday; and the Lord shall guide you continually,
and satisfy your soul in drought."
Wait for DIRECTION IN DIFFICULTY.
Difficulties often arise from our ignorance, or relations
in life, or the duties that devolve upon us. These difficulties are often
great, so that we know not what to do, or which way to take. Our wisdom is
swallowed up, and our friends are unable to advise us. One rash step may
ruin us. We appear to be impelled and urged to go forward, and yet are
afraid to take a step. Every plan we have formed has failed; every effort
has been abortive. We dare not go back; we fear to go forward– and yet we
feel as if we could not stand still. We imagine that no creature was ever
tried as we are. We have been sincere, and yet have gone wrong. We have
tried our best, and yet have failed. We are tempted to envy others who
succeed, to think that the Lord has dealt harshly with us, and even to
become reckless. Before us are difficulties, seemingly as great as the Red
Sea before Israel; behind us are obstacles, as fearful as the Egyptians
behind them. Besides which, we have no Moses with the rod of God to make a
way for us.
What can we do? Do as the prophet of old did, who said–
"I will wait upon the Lord, who hides his face from the house of Jacob, and
I will look for him." Yes, wait on the Lord, who has given you this precious
promise– "I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go; I
will guide you with my eye." He will point out the way, he will teach you in
the way, he will guide as a loving Father or a faithful friend. There are no
difficulties with him. He sees the end from the beginning. He has directed
thousands, millions, who have been in as great or greater difficulties than
you are. What he has done for others, he will do for you. Hear his own word–
"I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in
paths that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them, and
crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake
them." Wait, therefore, on the Lord, and say– "Behold, as the eyes of
servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden
unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until
that he have mercy upon us."
Wait for POWER IN WEAKNESS.
The Christian, at best, is but weak; but, at times, his
sense of weakness is truly painful. He feels weaker than a bruised reed. And
very often he feels weakest when he has the heaviest burden to carry, the
most difficult hill to climb, or the most arduous duties to perform. Also,
it often happens that the strongest foes are allowed to assault us in our
weakest seasons. So that what with foes opposing us, a heavy burden pressing
upon us, corruption working within us, and a rough and trying road before
us– we are at a loss what to do.
Now is the time to wait on the Lord, and to say with the
Psalmist– "Truly my soul waits upon God; for my expectation is from him."
Now the promise suits us, and is intended for us– "He gives power to the
faint, and to those who have no might, he increases strength. Even the
youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; but
those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up
with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk,
and not faint." Precious promise for a dark day and a trying path! Wait on
the Lord, then, however weak, faint, or weary you may feel– and all needful
strength and courage shall be given you; for he will strengthen you with
strength in your soul.
Wait for PROTECTION IN DANGER.
Every believer is exposed to foes, and is in danger from
the world, the flesh, and the devil. The world will injure him, if it
can; Satan seeks to worry or devour, to fascinate or terrify; and the
flesh ever lusts against the spirit, and has mighty power to injure
him. He is in danger from false doctrines, untried paths, and an evil heart
of unbelief. He needs constant protection; for unless he is kept by One who
is wise and vigilant, watchful and wary, powerful and present, he is almost
sure to be overcome. Now the Lord says– "Fear not, I am your shield." And
David could say– "You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your
gentleness has made me great." With the eye fixed upon him, the heart
resting on his word, and the voice calling to him in every danger,
protection is certain. "For as the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so
is the Lord round about his people from henceforth, even forever."
Nor does it matter what instruments may be devised or
employed against them, if they wait on the Lord in faith and prayer; as it
is written, "Your enemies will always be defeated because I am on your side.
I have created the blacksmith who fans the coals beneath the forge and makes
the weapons of destruction. And I have created the armies that destroy. But
in that coming day, no weapon turned against you will succeed. And everyone
who tells lies in court will be brought to justice. These benefits are
enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I,
the Lord, have spoken!" Isaiah 54:15-17
Wait, then, on the Lord; let whatever danger will
threaten, commit yourself to his gracious keeping, and his powerful arm
shall defend you, and his wisdom shall make a way for your escape. So that,
however imminent the danger, though in the very grasp of the foe, you shall
have to sing– "My soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowler;
the snare is broken, and I am delivered."
Wait for WISDOM IN TRIALS.
It requires much wisdom to use trials well, so that we
may glorify God in the fires, and get only good to our own souls. Every
trial, properly directed, will prove a great blessing; but if not
well-directed, it may prove a sore evil. James was speaking of the
believer's trials when he said– "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of
God, who gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given
him." We can not make ourselves wise; but God can make us so, and he is
prepared to give wisdom unto all who devoutly wait upon him. The wisdom that
comes from God, used in our trials, will lead us to the strong for strength,
will teach us to use the promises aright, and will direct us to seek the
deepening of our sanctification, before anything and everything else.
A wise man in trial will be patient and calm, prayerful
and hopeful, resigned and humble, and will be more concerned to have the
trial made a blessing, than to have it removed. Wait, then, on the Lord for
wisdom, and see that you obtain it. You may, for God in the Scripture
declares– "If you will receive my words, and hide my commandments with you;
so that you will incline your ear unto wisdom, and apply your heart unto
understanding; yes, if you cry after knowledge, and lift up your voice for
understanding; if you seek her as silver, and seek for her as for hid
treasures; then shall you understand the fear of the Lord, and find the
knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; out of his mouth comes
knowledge and understanding." Hence the exhortation– "Get wisdom, get
understanding. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom; and
with all your getting, get understanding."
Wait for COMFORT IN SORROW.
You may be sad and sorrowful. Grief may become your
companion for a time. Jesus was the man of sorrows, and he was acquainted
with grief. We are predestinated to be conformed to his image. We must
resemble him in sorrow, before we are filled with his joy. We must be like
him on earth, before we shall be like him in heaven. If we suffer with him
now, we shall reign with him by and by. A sorrowful saint can sympathize
with a sorrowing Savior, and with his fellow-believers in their sorrows.
Take heed, therefore, lest, on the one hand, you despise sorrow, or, on the
other, are swallowed up with over-much sorrow. Sanctified sorrow is a
soul-healing medicine. Yet, dwell not too much on your sorrows; they are
only for a time; and when the purpose for which they were sent is answered,
then they will be removed.
Your God is "the Father of mercies," and "the God of all
comfort." He comforts those who are cast down. Wait, therefore, on the Lord,
however deep your sorrows may at present be, and he shall comfort you in all
your tribulation. Yield not to despondency, discouragement, or doubt, but
remember that the Lord says– "I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are
you, that you should be afraid?" "As one whom his mother comforts, so will I
comfort you, and you shall be comforted." Though cast down at present, he
will soon turn and speak comfortably to you, comforting you in all your
tribulations, that so you may be able to comfort others with the comfort
with which you yourself are comforted of God. Yes, he will give you
everlasting consolation, and good hope through grace. Your weeping may
endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Wait, therefore, on God,
and he will make you exceeding joyful in all your tribulation.
Wait for DELIVERANCE OUT OF EVERY TROUBLE.
Deliverance is certain, for deliverance is promised. "The
Lord will deliver you in six troubles, and in seven he will not forsake
you." Jesus is the great Deliverer; therefore droop not, doubt not, despond
not, but call upon him in the day of trouble, and he will deliver you, and
you shall glorify him. As a believer, you can have no ground for fear, or
reason to despair; your troubles shall not overwhelm you, if you cry unto
God. How long your troubles may last, or how low you may sink, is not for me
to say; but they will not last long enough to warrant despair; nor will you
sink so low, but the everlasting arms will be still underneath you.
Remember, in every trouble, that "the eternal God is your refuge;" that "God
is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." "The Lord will
be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble." "I will be
with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him; I will set him on
high, because he has known my name." What precious Scriptures are these! Are
you in trouble, my friend? Believe them, appropriate them, plead them in
prayer, and God will honor them, and make them good. You may have to wait
long; you may fancy it too long; but at the very best time, in the
very best way, the Lord will arise and have mercy upon you, and will
bring your soul out of trouble.
Do not forget David's testimony– "They looked unto him,
and were lightened; and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried,
and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The righteous
cry, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles."
Wait on the Lord, PRAYING.
Prayer is the solace of the soul; therefore the Apostle
directs us in everything to pray. Indeed, we can not be said to wait upon
God without prayer; for prayer is the fixing of the eye, the outgoing of the
heart, the breathing of the spirit, the cry of the soul. In waiting upon
God, let your prayers be simple-simple as a child's speech to its father.
Let them be direct, going direct from your heart to the heart of God. Let
them be comprehensive, comprising all you need or wish, all you fear or
dread, all that is needful now, and all that appears desirable for the
future. Everything should be turned into prayer; all our concerns should be
laid before the Lord. They may be temporal or spiritual, limited to time or
run into eternity; but whether they regard the soul or the body, the
individual person only or the family, the church, the country, or the world,
whether they be great things or only small matters, they should be carried
to the throne, and be laid before the Lord. This is the way to enjoy
settled, solid, and habitual peace, and to carry out the Savior's
admonition– "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe
also in me." Anything that troubles us, however small or apparently
trifling, interests our heavenly Father, and he wishes to hear of it from
his child's own mouth. Hence the exhortation– "Trust in him at all times;
you people, pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us."
Wait on the Lord, BELIEVING.
We should live by faith, walk by faith, and constantly
exercise faith. Believe, therefore, what your God has said of himself, of
his designs toward you, and of his care over you. Believe in the precious
promises he has made to you, in the sweet assurances he has given to you,
and in the oath he has taken to secure you. Believe God, let men, or Satan,
or your own heart, say what they will. Believe God, speaking in his word,
let Providence work as it may. Believe God, and then you can concede him
time to work, then you can trust him in the gloomiest day and in the darkest
night. Believe God, and then you will enjoy perfect peace, as says the
prophet– "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is staid on you,
because he trusts in you."
Wait on God, believing that he will fulfill his word,
confirm your faith, illustrate his character, and secure your best
interests. Believe God, and wait on him, that he may perform his promises,
answer your prayers, and rejoice over you to do you good. Take God at his
word, and endeavor to rest upon it. Grasp the promise firmly, and refuse to
let it go. Doubting and fearing can do you no good, but must do you immense
harm; but believing God, and staying yourself on his word, will be of
incalculable benefit to you. Believe, therefore, and wait. Wait and believe.
Wait on the Lord, WATCHING.
Watch the hand of God as it works in nature and
providence; but remember that it is moved by the heart of God, which is
correctly represented in his word. You may mistake the meaning of his works
much easier than you can the meaning of his word; and therefore let his word
dwell in you richly, ruling your judgment, and controlling your thoughts.
Watch the working of the Holy Spirit in your heart, and mark the desires he
awakens, the graces he quickens, the checks he gives, and the consolation he
imparts. Wait on the Lord to carry on his work within you, and watch,
expecting him to do it. Wait on the Lord, expecting him to work for you; and
watch his hand, expecting him to answer your prayers. Let your conduct be an
illustration of that word– "I wait for the Lord– my soul does wait, and in
his word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord, more than those who watch
for the morning– I say, more than those who watch for the morning."
Wait on the Lord, SEARCHING HIS WORD.
All that the Lord has to say to us is to be found in his
word. That word is to direct us in difficulty, to counsel us in perplexity,
to guide us in danger, to comfort us in trouble, and to encourage us under
depression. It is to be a light unto our feet, and a lantern to our paths.
Its pages should be daily read, devoutly studied, and heartily believed. We
can not become intimate with God but by becoming familiar with his word; and
as his word is the chief instrument by which he sanctifies his people, if we
wish to be made holy, to be kept safe, and to be truly happy, we should
constantly and carefully read his word.
This is at all times important, but was never more
important than now, when so many books are written, so many errors are
abroad, and religion has become so fashionable. Perhaps few temptations are
so common, or more powerful, than the temptation to neglect the devout and
frequent reading of God's word; let us therefore be on our guard, and while
we profess to wait upon God, let us make much use of his word, and whenever
we take it in hand, say– "I will hear what God the Lord will speak; for he
will speak peace to his people and to his saints; but let them not turn
again to folly."
Wait on the Lord in his ORDINANCES.
They were instituted for you, and, rightly used, will be
a real blessing to you. Go to ordinances on purpose to meet with God; for as
he said to Moses, in reference to the mercy-seat, so he speaks to us in
reference to his own ordinances– "There will I meet with you, and I will
commune with you." Ordinances without God are but empty cisterns; and to
attend to ordinances without meeting with God, and communing with him in
them, is of little account. Yet ordinances should not be neglected, but in
every prayer we should seek to draw near to him; in every hymn we should
lift up the heart to him; in every sermon we should listen, that we may hear
from him. At the table we should see him preside, and seek heart-affecting
fellowship with him, and expect to be revived, refreshed, comforted, or
reproved by him.
The language of wisdom may be applied to the ordinances
of God– "Blessed is the man who hears me, watching daily at my gates,
waiting at the posts of my doors; for whoever finds me finds life, and shall
obtain favor of the Lord." And the language of the Psalmist, we may expect,
will set forth our experience, if we attend to divine ordinances from a
right motive and in a right spirit– "Blessed is the man whom you chose, and
cause to approach unto you, that he may dwell in your courts; we shall be
satisfied with the goodness of your house, even of your holy temple." Then
we may well say with David– "One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I
seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to
gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the
day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the
shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock." Psalm 27:4-5
Wait on the Lord in QUIETNESS OF SOUL.
This is sometimes very difficult, especially when the
conflict within is severe, and the storms of trouble roar. Yet it is a duty,
and not only a duty, but a privilege. Reasoning will do but little good.
Resistance will injure us. Therefore David took another course. Hear his
words– "Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don't
concern myself with matters too great or awesome for me. But I have stilled
and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes,
like a small child is my soul within me." Here was quiet waiting upon God.
The soul was humble; it bowed before God; it lay at his feet, and in
stillness of soul, waited for his appearing. This was wise– "The Sovereign
Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says, Only in returning to me and waiting for
me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength." Isaiah
Quiet, confiding faith in God is sure to calm the surges
of the mind, soothe the ruffled spirit, and bring every thought into
subjection to the obedience of Christ. Well, then, may the prophet say– "The
Lord is good unto those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. It is
good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the
Lord." If in patience we possess our souls, quietly plead with God, and look
for his delivering hand, we shall be sure to enjoy his paternal mercy.
Wait on the Lord, ACQUIESCING IN HIS WILL.
Men may be wrong; God cannot be. Whatever he does, he
wills; and whatever he wills is good. Whatever he permits is for wise
reasons– and because he can overrule it for his own glory and the good of
his people. All things lie open before him. He sees the end from the
beginning. He knows not only what everything tends to, but what everything
will result in. In everything he keeps the best interests of his people in
view. We may therefore very well submit to his will; not only submit, but
feel resigned; not only feel resigned, but acquiesce; not only acquiesce,
but prefer his will and way to our own.
Higher than this we cannot get; wiser than this we cannot
be. Now all within will be peace, let things be as they may without; all
before us in the distance will be bright, let them be as they will near at
hand. Happy soul that can bow to God's will, approve of God's plan, be
pleased with God's working, and say– "Not my will, but yours be done." "It
is the Lord, let him does what seems him good." Oh! for this calm, quiet,
all-subduing acquiescence in the will of God, that I may wait on him, wait
before him, and wait for him; saying with the prophet– "Therefore will I
look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will
Wait on the Lord in HOPE.
That is, expecting that he will work for you, give good
things to you, or effectuate your deliverance. Say with David– "I will hope
continually, and will yet praise you more and more." The promises are
intended to raise your expectation, and past experience should strengthen
it. There can be no reason to doubt, while you wait upon God; nor can
doubting do you the least good. Hope will cheer you, brighten your
prospects, and save you from despondency and gloom. Therefore hope in the
Lord. You may be deeply tried, severely exercised, and at times almost
overwhelmed; but at the very worst, you should expostulate with yourself,
and say– "Why are you cast down, O my soul? and why are you disturbed within
me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise him for the help of his
However rough your road, however violent the conflict,
however severe the trial, still hope on, hope always; for God has said–
"They shall not be ashamed, who wait for me." Like a vessel on the ocean,
you may have to meet with storms and tempests; you may be tossed and tumbled
about, but hope will be as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,
and which enters into that within the veil, "Therefore, let Israel hope in
the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous
Wait on the Lord with PERSEVERANCE.
Never give up, while you– need a blessing, fear a foe, or
groan under a burden. Wait on the Lord, until you obtain all you need, and
enjoy all you desire. You cannot wait on him in vain, therefore you can not
do better. Satan will suggest– "Why should you wait for the Lord any
longer?" Tell him, that your God is a Sovereign, and will work in his own
time and way; tell him you are a poor, dependent creature, and must not
dictate to the Most High; tell him that he has appeared for thousands before
you, and that he will appear for you. Let Satan suggest what he may, let
doubts rise ever so thick, let fears come ever so strong, still wait on the
It is your plain duty, it is your only hope, it is your
sure resource. Plead with God, and take no denial, rest on the promise of
God, and never give it up. Wait at the throne of God, and let nothing drive
you thence. If the Lord seems to be turned against you, and if everything
seems to conspire to discourage you, still persevere. Remember the woman of
Canaan, how she was discouraged; but she persevered and succeeded. Remember
Jacob, how he was discouraged, and yet succeeded. Remember Moses, to whom
God said, "Let me alone," but he persevered and succeeded. Remember
Hezekiah, what a death-blow he got, but he persevered and succeeded. The
Lord will turn again; he will have compassion upon you; for he will cast all
your sins into the depths of the sea. Trust, then, in the Lord forever, for
in the Lord Jehovah there is everlasting strength; and that strength shall
be put forth, and be made perfect in your weakness.
Wait on the Lord, for HE IS STRONG TO SAVE.
No case can be desperate that is brought to him. The poor
woman in the Gospel had spent all her money, tried all the physicians, and
was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, until she came to Jesus; and
then, by only touching his garment, she obtained a cure. So, let your case
be as bad as it may, having tried what means you will, the Lord can with one
word deliver you, set you up on high, and save you forever. He loves to
undertake difficult cases. He gets glory by appearing for poor souls in
their extremity. He has so appeared for millions, and he will yet appear for
you. Fix your eye on his strength, and your heart on his promise. David did
so, and in wondering faith exclaimed– "O Lord God Almighty! Where is there
anyone as mighty as you, Lord? Faithfulness is your very character."
All the strength of God, if needed, will be put forth for
you, if you wait upon him. Oh! what encouragement to wait upon the Lord, to
know that he can help because he is strong, and that he will help because he
Wait on the Lord, for HE CAN NOT DECEIVE.
He is truth itself. It is impossible for God to lie. He
can not change his mind, break his promise, or falsify his word. Heaven and
earth may pass away, but his word shall never pass away. Creatures may prove
false and fickle, but he is in one mind, and none can turn him. "The Rock of
Israel will not lie nor repent; for he is not a man that he should repent,"
or change his mind. O believer! here is strong consolation; you have the
promise of the unchangeable God to rest upon, not only his promise but his
solemn oath; therefore trust in the Lord with all your heart, and wait on
your God continually.
Wait on the Lord, for HE IS KIND.
He is kind even "to the unthankful and evil." His
kindness is "marvelous." It is united to mercy, and called "merciful
kindness." It is united to love, and called "loving kindness." It is
immutable, and therefore called "everlasting kindness." It is "the kindness
of God our Savior." The kindness of God is strong and tender, steady and
durable, humble and condescending. It rules his heart, shines in his
dealings, and is plentifully revealed in his word. It affords the strongest
encouragement to the convinced sinner, the seeking soul, the tried believer,
and the miserable backslider. How sweet is the thought, that there is
something in God's heart that sympathizes and takes part with the poor
petitioner at his feet! When we wait upon God, though guilty, polluted,
ungrateful, and depraved, his affections are moved for us, and he is
determined to have mercy upon us. The kindness of God encourages us to wait
on him. Wait on the Lord, for God waits for you, "Therefore will the Lord
wait, that he may be gracious unto you; and therefore will he be exalted,
that he may have mercy upon you– for the Lord is a God of judgment– blessed
are all those who wait for him."
The Lord is always prepared to give, but we are not
always prepared to receive. We have never to wait until he is ready, but he
has often to wait until we are. He waits for us long, and therefore we must
not be surprised if sometimes he makes us wait. But the longer we wait for
the blessing, the sweeter and richer will it be when it comes. As the Lord
is even now waiting for the fittest time to bless us, confer his favors on
us, or deliver us, it is but right and reasonable that we should wait on
him, and wait for him.
Wait on the Lord, and wait on THE LORD ALONE.
This was David's counsel to his own soul– "Find rest, O
my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my
salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my
honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge." In all seasons of
affliction and trouble, in all times of temptation and suffering, wait upon
God. In the exercise of faith and patience, pleading with him to perform his
promises, and deliver your soul, wait upon God. Murmur not, repine not, but
wait upon God.
Wait only upon God, for perhaps man can not help you; or
if he can, he may not be disposed; or he may raise your expectations only to
deceive you. But God can do all you need; he can give all you require; and
he can do so at any time. He bids you wait on him, and he is well pleased
with the waiting soul. Treat creatures, therefore, as creatures, and trust
your God as God. Look to him only and always. Wait upon him and wait for him
always. Expect him to act the part of a wise, faithful, kind, and loving
Father; and he will never neglect or deceive you. Wait, therefore, upon God
as God, and as true to his word; "so shall your peace be like a river, and
your righteousness as the waves of the sea."
Reader, are you in trying circumstances– circumstances of
peculiar trial? It may be so, and this little book may be sent to you in
special mercy. To you the Scripture speaks, when it says– "Wait on the
Lord." The Lord can easily find a way for your escape, or make one. Your
case cannot be desperate while God is omnipotent. However great the
difficulties that lie in your path, however impossible it may appear for you
to escape or overcome them, there is nothing too hard for the Lord. He can
make a way in the sea, and a path in the deep waters. Let nothing therefore
dishearten or discourage you. You may be brought into such a state as to be
entirely dependent on the Lord, having no friend, adviser, or helper; and
that may be the most blessed season of your life. Then you may use David's
prayer, with David's feelings– "Lead me in your truth, and teach me; for you
are the God of my salvation; on you do I wait all the day." Psalm 25:5