Dear People Who Keep Company With God,
Last year while Becky was preaching in Argentina we discovered the words wait and hope are the same word in the Spainish Bible. That was an eye opener. I looked up wait in the Hebrew Bible Dictionary and discovered “qawa,” means “to wait” or “to hope.” Many times the translators used the word wait, but they could have also used the word hope.
One such instance is Psalm 40. This Psalm in particular speaks to me because it is about perservering in trials. We have gone through so many trials, especially in the last few years, and the one word that has come out of some of the most devasting times is hope. David began Psalm 40 by saying, “I waited patiently for the Lord,” or “I hoped patiently for the Lord.”
Actually, the original Hebrew of Psalm 40:1 does not literally say, “I waited patiently.” In fact, the literal translation would read, “To wait I waited for the Lord,” or “To hope I hoped for the Lord.” In other words, the Hebrew word for wait and patient are the same Hebrew word, “qawa”!
The Message Bible brings out the intent of the Hebrew with repetition in English: “I waited and waited and waited for God. At last he looked; finally he listened.” It could have just as well read, “I hoped and hoped and hoped for God.”
I think that captures how so many of us have felt. We didn’t give up believing in God, hoping in His goodness, faithfulness and mercy. We kept hoping and believing that the Lord would bring a breakthrough. Sure, there were days we felt like giving up, but at the end of the day we didn’t. Hope remained in our hearts just as 1 Cor. 13:13 declares that it will.
Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible puts it like this, “I have diligently expected Jehovah, and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.” Psalm 40 is not about being patient in the way we typically think of patience such as longsuffering, forbearing, peaceful trusting, a calm waiting. Rather, Psalm 40 is a picture of intense eagerness, expectancy and consuming hope in the God of all hope, not patient waiting. This is brought out in verse 13 when David says, “Please, LORD, rescue me! Come quickly, LORD, and help me.”
I am not saying that it isn’t good to wait patiently for the Lord. In fact, being able to rest with confidence in God’s goodness and mercy even in hardest times like we’ve experienced purifies and strengthens our faith, but at the same time we should not quench the voice of hope.
I believe the hope we’ve had in the Lord during our fiery trials has been transforming us into a people of much greater faith and love. And this is exactly what the Scriptures testify that hope will do, “Hope in the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart” (Psalm 27:14). David himself grew into “a man after God’s own heart” by hoping in the Lord (Acts 13:22).
The crescendo of hope is in what David said in verses 2 & 3, “He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. 3 He has put a new song in my mouth— Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord.”
Recently I heard a preacher say, “He has the most hope has the most influence.” The world we live in is desperate for a real tried in the fire message of hope. We carry that message now. It is ours. We paid a massively huge price for the message, but many will see it and come to know the Lord of Glory.
Many Blessings, BW