Expectant Hope; October 12, 2017

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

This Psalm has many dearly loved verses in it, which I started to list, but they would include the majority of the Psalm! However, this last verse is one I particularly like ever since a friend of mine set the Japanese to music verbatim. I had to arrange it a little to fit the music when I did an English version, and it came out like this: “Be strong, and wait for God; take heart, and wait for Him. Know that the Lord your God will answer, so be strong and wait for Him.” The Japanese in this verse, which I have every reason to believe mirrors the Hebrew accurately, specifies, “wait in hope,” that is, wait expectantly. This is one phrase that is consistently better in Japanese than in English, and is the same one from Isaiah 40:31 and many other passages. For some reason English translations use either “wait” or “hope,” but not the two together the way the Japanese does. We tend to wait either impatiently or resignedly, without much hope. Neither is pleasing to God. We need to trust God with His timing, but have full assurance that He is going to do what is best at the best time. That level of trust can be pretty hard to maintain! I would dare say every believer has struggled with this multiple times. That has been the case since the dawn of the human race. Peter pointed out, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (2 Peter 3:8) We have a lot of company in our impatience and unbelief! I really think a major reason God doesn’t answer most prayers instantly is because He knows our faith is more valuable than whatever it is we are praying for. (1 Peter 1:7) Instant gratification doesn’t grow faith! However, faith that waits expectantly in hope, even when nothing is physically visible, comes only with the choice to trust God.

I have certainly had my struggles with this issue! However, the Lord has been more than gracious, and it has gotten easier with each succeeding lesson. Right now He has told me I’m to be the “faith engine” for our project of building a senior-care facility, It certainly feels better to be the one encouraging others than being the one desperately in need of encouragement! I am not to look down on anyone, but recognize that my own faith is a gift from God and encourage others to receive the faith that He offers to them. I am not to be cocky, but I am to exude the assurance that God is God, and that’s enough for us to know. We have been seeing example after example of God doing things quickly and simply that we thought were either very difficult or simply impossible. I need to point such things out to the believers so that their eyes and hearts may be opened to see and receive all that God wants to pour out, without agonizing in the process.

Father, thank You for this clear Word. Help me express it accurately and effectively, both this morning in our prayer time and Sunday in the service. May we be united in expectant hope, rejoicing in Your grace and mercy toward us whenever and however it is manifested, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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