Waiting Is Not Passive

To be human is to suffer. This is true for Christians as well. Not only do we suffer the normal pains and griefs common to all people, but Jesus promised that we might also suffer because of our allegiance to Him (John 15:18). Jesus did not promise to take our sufferings away in this life. Author George MacDonald put it this way: “The Son of God suffered unto the death, not that men might not suffer, but that their sufferings might be like His.”

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.Psalm 130:5

Psalm 130 opens with the anguished cry, “Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD” (v. 1). The depths described here by the Psalmist are any place that feels desperate. The Psalmist does not try to hide his suffering or pretend it is not happening. Instead, he accepts its reality while also embracing the reality of God. In his time of need, he turns to God and asks for mercy (v. 2).

The Psalmist recognizes that some suffering is the result of sin. Since all have sinned, God would be justified in allowing suffering to be our primary experience both in this life and the next. But the Psalmist knows something else about God. God delights to forgive (v. 4). God made a way for people to be forgiven through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. When this psalm was written, the cross was a future event. However, the sacrificial system pointed to it.

Sometimes when we are suffering, we may wonder, “What can we do?” The Psalmist tells us there is something we can do—wait (Ps. 130:5–6). Waiting is not a passive response; it is an expression of hope in God. We wait while recognizing that God is in control.

Whatever you are waiting for, whatever situation you find yourself in, know that God is on the throne. You can be confident, “for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption” (Ps. 130:7).

R. Cook

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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