“That You may say to the prisoners, ‘Go forth;’ to them that are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places” (Isaiah 49:9).
To remain bound, to remain in the dark, is not the will of God. After years of struggle, it may seem reasonable to resign, to give up hope for a true change, but the very word salvation reminds us that the main point of Christianity is deliverance–deliverance from the penalty of sin, the power of sin, and ultimately, from the very presence of sin.
Before His birth, God told His Son, “It is a light thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give You for a light to the Gentiles, that You may be my salvation unto the end of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6).
At His birth, the angel announced, “You shall call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The very name Jesus means “salvation.”
Going further, the apostle wrote that Jesus “gave Himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14).
Do you see it? Salvation!–God’s mighty act of deliverance–it is on the surface of Scripture, heard even in the name of “Jesus” itself. It is salvation that God intends–for you to be free and to be seen, no longer to be bound and not around. But you must believe this. “If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established,” warns the Old Testament (Isaiah 7:9). “Without faith it is impossible to please Him,” warns the New Testament, “for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6)–believing not simply that God exists (even the devil believes that), but that He rewards those who diligently seek Him–in other words, that it pays to seek God.
Do you believe this?
The wicked do not. In unbelief, the wicked strongly say, “It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts? And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered” (Malachi 3:14-15).
Those who fear God know better. They know that God is the rewarder of those who seek Him; therefore, they speak often with each other, and the Lord hears in heaven and remembers them, and will make them His jewels on the Day when He makes it as clear as heaven and as clear as hell that there is a difference between “him that serves God and him that serves Him not” (Malachi 3:16-18).
If we believe that God will reward our seeking with finding, we will wait, and we will wait with anticipation. “Therefore I will look unto the LORD,” writes the prophet, “I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me” (Micah 7:7).
Oh believer, down-cast, and in darkness, struggling with a recurrent sin and knowing that it is wrong: Keep believing, keep seeking. Know that His deliverance will come, for He is “the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” None of those who wait for Him shall be put to shame, left high and dry, holding the bag (Isaiah 49:23). The promises are general, available to all; for He says, “Whosoever believes on Him shall not be put to shame,” and “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:11, 13). Therefore, “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say on the LORD” (Psalm 27:14).
This is where it all starts–with faith–with faith that believes enough to wait,…and to wait, and to wait, and to wait, knowing that it is impossible for God to deny Himself. He is the Rewarder of them that seek Him! Therefore, “As the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes with upon the LORD our God, until that He have mercy upon us” (Psalm 123:2).
Having established the principle of Faith and Hope–that genuine faith produces a waiting hope–the next letter will (Lord willing) address the question: What exactly do I do while I am waiting in faith for God to save me?