The Christian's Hope and Patience
Lamentations 3:26-36
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.…

I. WHAT IS MEANT BY THE SALVATION OF THE LORD. Salvation literally means the act of delivering any one from danger or misfortune; and implies at once some misery or peril from which deliverance is needed, and some power sufficient to work that deliverance out. And the statement that there is salvation with God, is a declaration of the miserable condition in which we are by nature, and an announcement that God has set before us a means whereby we may escape, and that His mighty hand is put forth to render those means effectual.

II. WHEREFORE IT IS GOOD THAT A MAN SHOULD HOPE FOR THIS SALVATION. There are many who cannot be properly said to hope for it; — they appear to be certain that they shall attain to it, although not one of the marks of Christ's flock be visible upon them. Others, again, are manifestly utterly careless about it; they pass through life without showing a single desire for salvation, or a single anxiety respecting the state of their souls. And others yet again appear to despair; — they seem to acknowledge their need of salvation, but to think that it is not possible that they can ever lay aside those sins which separate them from God. Now, none of these can be said to hope; because hope is a mixture of desire to obtain, of fear of coming short, and of belief in the possibility of attaining the "salvation of the Lord"; — and those who have not fixed their minds upon it, in the sense of their own guilt, and of the power and willingness of the Lord to forgive, are as yet utterly destitute of this Christian grace. But the awakened sinner, along with that conviction of his sins which the Holy Spirit has wrought in him, receives the hope that God will be merciful to him, for the sake of a crucified Saviour; and this draws him to that Saviour.

III. WHEREFORE IT IS GOOD THAT A MAN SHOULD QUIETLY WAIT FOR THIS SALVATION. This almost appears to contradict the former part of the text; — because nothing can seem more opposed to hope than quietly waiting. But this contradiction is only in appearance. The reason that there is so much impatience connected with all human wishes and expectations is, that our hopes with respect to this world are ever uncertain. But it is otherwise with respect to "the salvation of the Lord." In it there is nothing doubtful; for He Himself has promised to give it; — in it there is no deceit; for Jesus the Author and the purchaser of our salvation is indeed "a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." In clinging then to Him, and laying hold on His salvation, the poor sinner finds that he receives the fulfilment of all the promises; — and as the sweetest and the best of these hold out to us deliverance not only from the punishment but from the dominion of sin, he looks on the very disposition to wait quietly, so contrary to unconverted human nature, as a part of the salvation for which he hopes. The Christian should therefore "quietly wait"; but he should do so in the diligent use of the means for growth in grace; stirring up the gifts which have already been bestowed on him, of faith, whereby he lays hold on the promises, — of hope, whereby he looks for their fulfilment, of prayer, whereby he expresses that faith and that hope to God, and seeks to have the crowning grace of love shed abroad on his heart. And this he may well do, if taught by the Spirit of God that his heavenly Father deals more wisely with him than he would deal with himself, were the freedom of choice allowed him. It is true that it is not so pleasant to remain in this state as it would be to have at once the fulness of spiritual joy; but it is more profitable to the heir of immortality to be trained to the habitual exercise of patience and submission to the Divine will, as this must be the best preparation for heaven

(R. W. Kyle, B. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

WEB: It is good that a man should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of Yahweh.

The Advantages of a State of Expectation
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