July 26

“For we through the Spirit by faith wait for the hope of righteousness.” Galatians 5:5 RV

There are times when things look very dark to me—so dark that I have to wait even for hope. It is bad enough to wait in hope. A long-deferred fulfillment carries its own pain, but to wait for hope, to see no glimmer of a prospect and yet refuse to despair; to have nothing but night before the casement and yet to keep the casement open for possible stars; to have a vacant place in my heart and yet to allow that place to be filled by no inferior presence–that is the grandest patience in the universe. It is Job in the tempest; it is Abraham on the road to Moriah; it is Moses in the desert of Midian; it is the Son of man in the Garden of Gethsemane. There is no patience so hard as that which endures, “as seeing him who is invisible”; it is the waiting for hope…. I shall reach the climax of strength when I have learned to wait for hope. ~George Matheson (Streams in the Desert)

A common misnomer in Christian circles is the adage: “Pray as if everything depends on God; work as if everything depends on you.” Such thinking could not be further from the truth; it is, in fact, heretical. The truth of all matters is that it should never enter the mind of a believer to do anything exclusive of the Father. Work done in isolation from Holy Spirit power is less than anemic; it is tragic.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God,the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31 | NRSV)

Those who know the Father benefit from perpetual grace, meaning they also know they could never work on their own, nor would they want to do so. Better to wait for hope in the light, than run headlong into darkness alone.

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