The Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living
Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage; and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. – Psalm 27:11-14 (KJV)
Sometimes religion can be a means of escape from the urgent realities of now. Gradualism has not been a friend to those who have for centuries been made to suffer the indignities of racism, sexism and heterosexism. Only those who are free from the pressure of persecution can afford the luxury of prolonged, incremental change.
The psalmist possesses a faith that is not just eternal but imminent. It is a faith that does not just hope for the best; it is a faith that anticipates the realization of hope. What keeps the psalmist faithful is the anticipation of hopes and dreams that are expected to be realized in this life. No pie in the sky bye and bye when we die, but something sound on the ground while we’re still around – this is the faith of the psalmist.
“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Faith to believe in God’s ability to make dreams come true in our lifetime is what gives people courage to change and courage to struggle. Waiting on the Lord does not put our dreams on indefinite hold. Waiting on the Lord places our dreams on an immediate process of unfolding.
“Wait, I say, on the Lord,” and let the realization of our hearts’ desires begin now!
Lord we thank you for a faith that gives us the impetus to manifest your goodness and your greatness now, henceforth and forever more. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.