Waiting for Salvation
James Smith, 1861
Troubles have a tendency to wean us from the world, to weary us of life, and make us long for the better land. In the buoyancy of youth, amidst the pleasures of manhood, when all things go well with us, we have few aspirations after that city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. But amidst the pains of sickness, the vexations of business, and the weakness of old age — we long to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Then, like Jacob, wearied with life's trials, satisfied with all God's dealings, and worn out in God's service, we can say, "I have waited for your salvation, O Lord!" Genesis 49:18.
The OBJECT of Desire. SALVATION, or deliverance — full and perfect deliverance.
Deliverance from Satan, his temptations, suggestions, and annoyances.
Deliverance from all sorrow, trouble, grief, and care.
The Lord's salvation — which he purposed in himself, promised in his word, procured by the labors of his life, and the agonies of his death, which he proclaims by the everlasting gospel, and perfects by the work of his Spirit in the heart.
A salvation, worthy of God who devised it, the expense it took to procure it, the aspirations of the soul for it, and all the pains taken to obtain it.
A salvation, which is deliverance from all evil, both physical and moral; and the possession all good, both natural and spiritual.
A salvation which brings the greatest glory to God, the greatest confusion to Satan, and the greatest good to man.
A salvation which will exalt, satisfy, and dignify us.
The Patriarch's POSTURE."I have WAITED for your salvation, O Lord." This is our only proper posture as believers in Jesus. We wait not for death — but for God's salvation. We have the plan of it in the Scriptures — to study, and we have the pledge of it in our hearts — to encourage us. It is for us therefore to wait for its full perfection, and to wait in God's way, God's time, until it arrives.
Let us wait praying, which is a preparation for it.
Let us wait pressing on, determined to reach it.
Let us wait particularly doing and enduring all that God requires or permits it.
Let us wait persuaded that it will come, and come soon. To some of us, it is just in sight. Soon, very soon, we shall be called from scenes of suffering and labor, and shall enter into the enjoyment of perfect, perpetual, and everlasting freedom!
Every saint waits and pants for perfect purity. This is the direct and invariable tendency of the new nature. Sin is an annoyance, a burden, a grief, a very hateful thing. Holiness is lovely, desirable, and precious. To be holy, perfectly holy — is the natural and constant desire of the regenerated soul.
FAITH lays hold on God's promise. Which is the promise of salvation, for as John says, "This is the promise that he has promised us, even eternal life." This promise, as presented in the gospel, is apprehended, appreciated, and appropriated by faith. Faith believes it, is assured of it, and rests upon it.
PATIENCE waits God's time. Human nature is often in a hurry, trials and troubles spur it on, and at times it becomes restive; but grace is willing to wait, yes, would rather wait, if God may thereby be glorified. "I have waited," said Jacob: and "if we hope for that we see not," says Paul, "then do we with patience wait for it."
LOVE works in God's vineyard. None wait so patiently, so comfortably, so consistently, as those who are diligently employed in God's service. O how many evils are prevented, and how much good is obtained by diligent working for God!
HOPE expects full enjoyment.
As God has promised it — faith believes it;
and as faith believes it — hope expects it;
hope expecting it — we patiently wait for it;
and while patiently waiting for it —
we often enjoy the foretastes of it.
Reader, is your heart set upon salvation? Upon being saved from sin now — that you may be saved from all sorrow, sighing, and sadness forever?
Salvation may be had — but it must be sought. If you are willing to be damned, you need take no special effort — just go on and let things take their course, and you are lost. But, if you wish to be saved —
you must strive to enter in at the strait gate,
you must set your heart upon obtaining the salvation which is in Christ Jesus,
you must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus.
Faith, the faith which saves us, comes from Christ, receives from Christ, trusts in Christ, has fellowship with Christ, nor will it allow the soul to rest until it realizes that we are one with Christ. "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ — and you shall be saved!" But if you believe not — you must be damned, for "He who believes not the Son of God shall not see life — but the wrath of God abides on him." We are saved by grace — but it is through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.