Musician and author Carolyn Arends wrote: “The Bible encourages us to move toward faith and away from doubt. And yet, the ‘Hall of Fame’ believers held up as examples in Hebrews 11 were almost unanimously a questioning lot. The point seems less that they never doubted and more that they came to God with their doubts. Some of them argued with or even hollered at God. But they didn’t walk away. . . . God wants us to wrestle with Him.”
Waiting on the Lord is a kind of wrestling, taking our doubts and questions to Him because we know He’s the only One who can help. Thankfully, as today’s passage reminds us, no matter how hard the questions or the situation, His mercies are new every morning (vv. 22–23). As another translation puts it, “Your faithfulness is abundant!”
God’s love and compassion are always with us, for He never abandons us (see Deut. 31:6; Matt. 28:20). But in another sense, we wait to see His love in action or to experience it in our circumstances and relationships. In this sense, His mercies are renewed daily.
This is the only reason we’re not crushed under life’s burdens and difficulties (vv. 21–22a). The challenges to faith are very real, as we know from the vocabulary in this passage, including “affliction,” “wandering,” “bitterness,” “gall,” and “downcast” (vv. 19–20). Yet they are outweighed by God’s faithful love, because His faithfulness and love are absolutely perfect.
The most hopeful thing we can say is this: “The lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for him” (v. 24). Literally, the word translated here as portion means “share” or “inheritance,” and metaphorically this suggests that the Lord sustains our very lives. It is indeed good to wait for His salvation!
What does it mean to “wait quietly,” or patiently (v. 26)? The meaning here most likely refers to an exhortation to wait without grumbling or complaining, for these indicate a lack of faith. If we wait with the expectant hope we’ve been learning about this month, our minds will be steadfast (see Isa. 26:3).