Psalm 40 - Waiting on the Lord

I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD
and put their trust in him.
Blessed is the one
who trusts in the LORD,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
Many, LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened—
burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.
I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”
I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, LORD,
as you know.
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly.
Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
Be pleased to save me, LORD;
come quickly, LORD, to help me.
May all who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be appalled at their own shame.
But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The LORD is great!”
But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay.

David begins this psalm by saying: "I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God." 

David often speaks about waiting on the Lord, a theme found throughout Scripture. But what does it mean to wait on the Lord? Several things. One, it means that we should be patient as we seek God's will for our lives. As a general rule, we are not patient people. We are always in a hurry to get things done. We carry this impatience into our prayer life too. We petition God expecting instant results, and when he doesn't answer immediately — as often happens— we get as frustrated and angry as we get when we are stuck in traffic! However, let us realize that if God acted immediately, we would be in control, not him, and we are not wise enough to call the shots.

God will not be rushed. He will do things in his time, not ours, which brings us to the second point about waiting on God. It means we should trust in him and his timing. Have you heard the song "In his time"? The first verse goes like this: In his time, in his time / He makes all things beautiful in his time / Lord, please show me every day / As you're teaching me your way / That you do just what you say / In your time. Unlike many of us, God keeps his promises, but we have to trust that he will do things in his time, not ours. So, chill!

Three, it means we seek his guidance and direction. Very often, as we journey through life WITHOUT being led by the Holy Spirit, we get lost. We find ourselves in a spiritual desert, not knowing which way to go because everything looks the same. In such instances, we must turn to God, asking him to lead us out of the metaphorical wilderness we find ourselves in. We might need to wait for a little during such times. 

Now, because God WANTS us to wait on him, especially if he sees us trying to get ahead of him in our impatience, he will often put the brakes on us. Life comes to a complete stop. Everything gets frozen. Nothing seems to move. This can get frustrating and tedious. However, if we wait, we will see supernatural things happen! As the psalmist declares, we will run and not be weary; we shall walk and not be faint! Leave that aside; we shall mount up with wings like eagles!

So let us wait on the Lord, knowing it is not a passive or inactive state but an active posture of trust and obedience. It involves seeking God's presence and wisdom through prayer, reading the Bible, and listening to his voice. It also involves a willingness to obey his commands and follow his lead, even when it may not make sense or go against our own desires. So, let us wait on the Lord.

God bless you.