The Discipline of Waiting Patiently for the LORD

Psalm 40:1-3 (NASB)

I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry.

He pulled me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay.

And He set my feet upon a rock, and held my footsteps firm.

And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear, and will put their trust in the Lord.


Notice that the psalmist waited patiently for the LORD. This is because the disciple is in a dependent relationship with the LORD. The disciple must wait for the LORD. She must wait for the King to come to her. Here is one of the mysteries of our relationship with God: that we know that He hears our cries and that He is eager to have fellowship with us and that He loves us and has sent His Son to die for us, and yet He is also sometimes slow to appear in our presence. He is the King and He comes when He, in His divine and perfect wisdom, knows that the time is right. And so in faithfulness and obedience, the disciple waits for her King. She cries out . . . and waits for the King to choose the time when He will come to her. The LORD is the sovereign one. He is the Master and we are the servants. And so we wait patiently, knowing that our loving King is coming soon and that He is never far away.


As the psalmist continues to cry out, the LORD inclines His ear and hears the cry of His children. “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ear is open to their cry.” (Psalm 34:15) When the LORD deems that all is ready, He acts in a way that only God can act. The LORD answers prayers in a way that declares that it was Him that answered. He uses answered prayer to declare His power and His presence. And so here He pulls David out of the pit of destruction and sets his feet on a rock and then holds his feet firmly in place. Not only is this David’s physical deliverance, but it is also an obvious picture of what Christ has done for every believer. The LORD has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13-14).


Once the psalmist has been delivered and has been set in safety out of reach of his enemies, he feels like singing and praising the One who delivered him. The LORD has delivered David and He will deliver you. And when the victory comes, we are to sing praises to our great Savior. A song of praise should flow from our lips as we “proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9) Our God is great and He has promised to never leave us and He is with us like a dread Champion (Jeremiah 20:11), and so we praise Him and let the world know that He is to be feared above all gods (Psalm 96:4). “You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God.” (Psalm 86:10) As we declare His glory among the nations, many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD.

Application: The applications are straight-forward. Wait patiently for the LORD as you pray persistently, knowing that His ear is bent toward you and that He loves you and that He will answer when the time is right. Meanwhile, persevere and be steadfast and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus as you continue to live for Him. The LORD will act on your behalf.

SDG   rmb   6/6/2016

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