My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. My eyes fail, looking for your promise; I say, “When will you comfort me?” (Psalm 119:81-82 NIV)

Our hearts may simultaneously be both at rest and in longing. We long for the fulfilment of all of God’s promises, but we can be at peace while still in the journey.

The word “salvation” in Hebrew meant both spiritual salvation and physical deliverance from danger. In this earthly life all such moments of peace and safety are fleeting. We may establish peace and put an end to conflict for a season, but the minute the armistice is signed a new enemy seeks to take advantage and the old enemy reminds us he is not fully vanquished. 

The only real inner peace we know on this earth comes through faith in God’s promises and the enjoyment of His presence, reminding us that He will fulfil all of His promises to us in His time. We walk by faith. These moments of peace are precious. We are assured by His Word, comforted by His Spirit, and encouraged by the fellowship of believers, and in these we have a taste of future glory. And we should treasure these in our hearts.

But there is more to come! The journey of faith continues to move toward the climactic and ultimate peace of God. The psalmist said that his eyes failed looking for the fulfilment of God’s promise – a moving example of a heart that is not fully satisfied with only moments of peace, but desires the permanent and complete peace and comfort of God.

Humanism with its godlessness sees the Christian hope of eternal peace as mere escapism and fantasy. They reject all such ideas of moral perfection and holiness and peace. So they live life without intention, without hope, without goals, and without God. They muddle through and think that muddling is enough, for it is all we can hope for.

The Christian knows the challenges of life, knows the loneliness and pain of the soul, but his imagination does not stop there. He does not just muddle through. He is a pilgrim on a journey to a better place. God pours His love into his heart, and his moments of peace remind him that the best is still yet to come. In faith he looks to God’s promises and longs for them, and that longing produces in him patience, hope, faith, and opens his heart to receive the comfort of God.

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:2-5)   

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