James Smith, 1842
"But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." Romans 8:25
The objects of our hope are all future, all good, and all promised. We expect them because God has promised them; on His word do we hope.
There is not an evil — but we hope to be one day
There is not a blessing — but we hope one day to enjoy it!
This present world is a land of hope.
Heaven is a land of fruition.
The highest object of our hope is perfect holiness, exact conformity to the Lord Jesus Christ — to be brought to such a state, that we shall glorify our God in every desire, thought, feeling, and action.
We hope for the period when we shall say:
farewell sickness — welcome perpetual health;
farewell sorrow — welcome everlasting joy;
farewell sin — welcome perfect purity;
farewell ignorance — welcome perfect knowledge;
farewell desertion — welcome the eternal, presence of my God;
farewell death — welcome everlasting life!
Do we hope for these things? Then let us patiently wait for them. Patience supposes trials, difficulties, and burdens — it is a grace of which we have much need on earth. "You have need of patience, that after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He who shall come will come, and will not tarry." While the bridegroom tarries — the servants are tried; but those who are consistent will watch, expect, and wait.
The blessings we expect are worth waiting for, they are
laid up for us in Heaven, as we have heard in the word of the truth of the
Faith believes the message respecting them,
hope longs to be put in possession,
love incites to grateful acknowledgments and holy walking,
ardent desire wants immediate enjoyment —
but patience is willing to wait. Her language is, "All the days of my appointed time I will wait, until my change comes."
Seasons of trouble seem long; but what are the longest seasons compared with eternity, an eternity of perfect blessedness? Let your lamps be trimmed, your lights burning, your loins girded, and you yourselves like unto men that wait for the bridegroom. Often ask, What am I waiting for? And think of an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fades not away. How am I waiting? Patiently, prayerfully, usefully, gratefully? If you rightly hope, you will patiently wait. Be content to finish your education before you are removed home. Believe that your Father is wiser than you are. You have never had an unnecessary trouble. As bad as things may seem, they would have been worse — but for the discipline used before they came.
"Tribulation works patience." Patient waiting insures an enlarged experience of Jehovah's love and goodness. Your present journey will lead you to a place of repose, "where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest." Your troubles will end well, everlastingly well. Look therefore unto the Lord, wait for the God of your salvation; your God will hear you. "Let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing." James 1:4. Your God is the God of patience, who exercises, bestows, and approves of patience.
Father! Whatever of earthly bliss
Your sovereign will denies;
Accepted at the throne of grace,
Let this petition rise;
Give me a calm and thankful heart,
From every murmur free;
The blessings of your grace impart,
And make me live to Thee.
Let the sweet hope — that You are mine
My life and death attend;
Your presence through my journey shine,
And crown my journey's end!