Lam. 3:25 Jehovah is good to those who wait on Him, to the soul that seeks Him.
Isa. 30:18 And therefore Jehovah waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He remains on high to have compassion on you; for Jehovah is a God of justice; blessed are those who wait for Him.
Jeremiah enjoyed Jehovah as his portion, and he put his hope not in himself nor in the people nor in anything else but only in Jehovah. On the one hand, Jeremiah realized that God is a God of lovingkindness, that He is compassionate, and that His word is faithful. On the other hand, Jeremiah realized that we still need to contact the Lord every morning, put our entire hope in Him, and wait on Him. (Life-study of Lamentations, p. 7)
In Jeremiah’s time, the situation of the people of Israel was not good. It did not seem that God was so loving, kind, compassionate, and faithful….Like Jeremiah, we need to realize that God is still our portion and that we should hope in Him, wait on Him, and call upon His name (Lam. 3:55). However, even though we do these things, we should not expect the situation to change immediately. Since there may be no immediate change, we need to continue to wait on the Lord.
In Jeremiah’s case, the waiting on the Lord has been quite long. The fulfillment of his prophecies concerning the age of restoration has still not come. On the contrary, the situation of Israel today does not seem to be a confirmation of these prophecies. This indicates that we need to learn the lesson of waiting on the Lord. Today is not the time of the ultimate consummation; therefore, we must wait on the Lord.
To wait on the Lord is very crucial. God is our portion; He is full of lovingkindness and compassion; and He is absolutely faithful. Now we need to hope in Him, wait on Him [vv. 24-25], and call upon Him….A certain Bible teacher pointed out that God acted quickly in saving us, but in many other things He does not act quickly. For example, we know that the Lord answers prayer. We may pray to Him about a particular matter, but He may wait for several months before He answers our prayer. This helps us to realize that our God is true, living, compassionate, and faithful, yet He often does not do things as quickly as we expect.
The reason God delays is that He intends to test us. He will test us to such an extent that we will lose our hope and feel that we are utterly finished. When we feel that the situation is hopeless, that is often the time when God will come in. This is our experience under God’s dispensing.
In…Lamentations 3, Jeremiah said, “I called upon Your name, O Jehovah” (v. 55a). In the Lord’s recovery we have learned to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus. However, many New Testament believers do not know about calling upon the name of the Lord and do not practice it. Some even criticize us for this practice. What an unfortunate situation this is!
I appreciate the three matters we have emphasized in this message: to have our hope in the Lord, to wait on Him, and to call upon His name. If we practice these things, we will be under God’s dispensing in a practical way.
When the situation around us seems to be hopeless, we need to realize that our God can never be defeated. Whatever He has spoken, He will be faithful to fulfill. Therefore, we should believe all that the Bible says. In addition, we need to realize that God is the portion of His people, and we need to put our hope and our trust in Him. We need to trust in Him and wait on Him whether He answers us now or later. Even if He seemingly does not answer our prayer, we should continue to pray and wait on Him. The eventual result will be according to His purpose, and we will be the ones benefited by Him. May we all learn this lesson. (Life-study of Lamentations, pp. 7-9)
Further Reading: Life-study of Jeremiah, msgs. 11-12, 18; Life-study of Isaiah, msgs. 21, 44