We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
In the light of everything else in this psalm, here is a fitting conclusion. May we find ourselves on our knees (literally or metaphorically), alongside the psalmist, resting in God: in His purposes and timing.
• There is a waiting in faith (20). The Bible speaks about both waiting on the Lord, and waiting for the Lord.
I was visiting a lady from our church in Lancaster, and I noticed, on her mantelpiece, something that said, ‘Lord, grant me patience; but hurry!’ It engenders a wry smile,I know, and we understand the sentiment. But there is a waiting involved in faith (an active waiting with eyes fixed upon the Lord) and we usually have no idea how long the waiting will last – which can be challenging;
• There is a ‘confident expectation’ in faith. As Alec Motyer says: a ‘confident expectation that unfailing love will look after us.’ So there is inevitably a resting in faith, as we cast our burdens upon the Lord (see Philippians 4:6,7);
• There is a substance to faith. It is not merely wishing and hoping for the best. We trust in God – in His character as revealed to us in Scripture. We place our confidence, e.g., in His power (“help), protection (“shield”), purity (“holy name”) and passion (“unfailing love”);
• There is a rejoicing in faith (21). The more we see of who God is, the more we will want to praise Him. He alone is worthy. As Motyer points out, ‘The rejoicing heart is the product of trust which rests on what the Lord has revealed about himself (name) and on his character (holy), whereby he can never deny himself.’ ‘New Bible Commentary’, p.506;
• There is a prayerfulness in faith (22). Faith does not merely believe certain truths about God as facts. It goes beyond that. It stands on His Word and claims the promises. “To pray that this love may rest upon us embraces all our needs in one petition.’ Alec Motyer.
‘Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace…If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is.’ Amy Carmichael.
“We’re depending on GOD; he’s everything we need. What’s more, our hearts brim with joy since we’ve taken for our own his holy name. Love us, GOD, with all you’ve got – that’s what we’re depending on.’ (Verses 20-22 in ‘The Message).