It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
The quietness of our souls in times of distress reveals our character and our faith. By the time we begin to complain or accuse, already the thoughts had been formed in our hearts, and often murmured from our lips where others could not hear. Only faith in God and His promises can keep us inwardly calm when the world around us seems to be collapsing. Jeremiah expressed his own personal sense of suffering during the fall of Jerusalem, but he also spoke for the entire nation and it seemed as though Israel had fallen never to rise again. Though his language was graphic, he did not overstate his situation. They suffered terribly.
But faith looks at life differently: faith endures and believes in the light even when darkness encompasses us. When the light seems to have gone out, when health issues, financial woes, career setbacks, or family and personal problems increase, when life is other than we wish it were, there are three things we are to do: praise God (Lam. 3:20-24); quietly wait for Him to do His work (Lam. 3:25-26), and examine our ways (Lam. 3:40-42). When life seems to be spiraling out of control, it is important to remember that God is not defeated. Often we find that in the darkest moments the Lord has just begun to do His redemptive work.
We see it happen often in sports. One team seems to gain the upper hand early in the contest and they put some points up on the board, yet the other team has discovered a weakness they can exploit and in the second half of the game they come from behind and win. A fighter in the ring may endure punishing rounds, falling behind in the judges’ scoring, but then he senses that his opponent is tiring and somewhere in the middle of the match it swings to his advantage. On the tennis court, one player may score some early sets, yet by the third set, as fatigue sets in, the scale tips in the favor of the other player. In a distance race, one runner surges ahead of others but then tires and another comes from behind and wins. In each case, the ones who overcame knew something deep within their souls, they knew that they were not defeated, in spite of how it may have looked to others, and that faith and confidence pushed them to their limits but also made them victorious.
In life as believers in Christ, it is not our strength that will win, but God’s. He has already defeated the enemy and we merely wait quietly for His salvation to become fully revealed. In Jeremiah’s day it appeared that the Jewish nation would cease to exist, but the next century came Ezra and Nehemiah, with funding from the royal treasury of Persia to rebuild the temple and wall of Jerusalem.
We run our race of faith as did other generations, unable to see the final victory except through faith in God’s promises. As the generations of the faithful before us, we are often lost in the dust of the events of life, unsure of our progress, or even if we should be enjoying ourselves or not. The summation of the roll call of the faithful states: “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised” (Heb. 11:39). God’s full salvation awaits the coming age and the return of Christ, yet victory can also be ours today through faith in His promises.
And along the journey, God often works miracles that give us a taste of the glory that awaits us in His kingdom. It is good to sit quietly in our hearts and trust in the victory and salvation of God.
Lord, grant us the faith and the vision to quietly wait for Your salvation. Touch our hearts today with Your grace and love. Amen.