Wait: to wait and look for with hope
This is the definition of the word most used in the Old Testament that is rendered wait. This word can be used to signify “depending on and ordering activities around a future event.” Life is thusly lived as if the future event will occur, but the timing is not known. The future event will be a life-changing occurrence and it changes how the believer acts. This is waiting with hope. Let us examine some of the Scriptures in a few blogs in which this word for wait in the Old Testament is used.
I have waited for Your salvation, O LORD. (Genesis 49:18, NKJV)
In this passage Jacob expressed an expectation in God alone of a future work of the Lord. This was promised to Jacob, and that promise was received and believed by him. This promise freely flowed from the grace of the Father; Jacob was to do nothing but accept the promise. There is no salvation apart from God is the promise; only He can accomplish that. Jacob was waiting for that promise. When that promise was fulfilled in Christ it opened a whole new understanding of the salvation of God, and meditating upon that completed work of Christ now gives us as believers hope today. There is now a hope that God will do a work in us and through us; a hope of being Christ-like in character; and a hope of inheritance and blessedness.
In comprehending this work of salvation we need to understand the three-fold aspect of salvation as described in the New Testament:
(1) We are saved when we put our faith and trust in Christ, which is called justification
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13, NASB) (See also Matthew 20:28; John 3:15; Romans 3:26; Romans 5:8-9; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 1:13; 1 Timothy 2:6 to name a few).
(2) We are being saved currently, which is called sanctification
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23, NASB) (See also 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Ephesians 5:26; Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Peter 1:2 to name a few).
(3) We will be saved one day and be in the presence of the Lord with our new bodies, which is called glorification
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, NASB)
Because justification has been accomplished our expectation is in each of the last two of these aspects of salvation. We wait in hope for the completion of our salvation. When we surrender all and trust in Him we learn how to wait on the Lord for these future acts of God in our lives. When we are helpless in ourselves and subsequently confident in Him we learn to wait on God, because our hope is in Him. When we meditate on what He has accomplished (justification) we learn to let Him work out our salvation (sanctification), and as we hope in our future completeness in Him (glorification), we learn to wait on the Lord. Wait on God with great hope.
Wait on the Lord to do what He has promised to you in you. There is no need to rush and get ahead of God. The Lord will keep His promises because it is in His nature to do so. Meditate on the Scriptures referenced in this section and allow the Holy Spirit to work in you to trust Him. Wait on God with the expectation which is brought by hope.