Psalm 39:7  And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

What wait I for? This is a searching question for the heart, but it is oftentimes
a most necessary one, inasmuch as we may constantly detect ourselves in an
attitude of waiting for things which, when they come, prove not to be worth
waiting for.

The human heart is very much like the poor lame man at the gate of the temple
in Acts 3. He was looking at every passerby “expecting to receive something.”
And the heart will ever be looking out for some relief, some comfort or some
enjoyment in passing circumstances. It may be found sitting by the side of
some creature-stream, vainly expecting some refreshment to flow along its

It is amazing to think of the trifles on which nature will fix its expectant gaze —
a change of circumstances, change of scene, a journey, a visit, a letter, a book.
Anything is sufficient to raise expectations in a poor heart which is not finding
its center, its spring, its all, in Christ.

Hence the practical importance of frequently turning sharp round upon the
heart with the question, “What wait I for?” Doubtless, the true answer to this
enquiry would at times furnish the most advanced Christian with matter for
deep humiliation and self-judgment before the Lord.

Psalm 39:6  
Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are
disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall
gather them.

In Psalm 39: 6 we have three great types of character as set forth in the “vain
show,” “vain disquietude” and “heaping up.”
These types may sometimes
be found combined, but very often they have a distinct development.

There are many whose whole life is one “vain show,“ whether in their personal
character, their commercial position, their political or religious profession.
There is nothing solid about them, nothing real, nothing true. The glitter is the
most shallow gilding possible. There is nothing deep, nothing intrinsic. All is
surface work — all the merest flash and smoke.

Then we find another class whose life is one continued scene of “vain
disquietude.” You will never find them at ease — never satisfied, never happy.
There is always some terrible thing coming — some catastrophe in the
distance, the mere anticipation of which keeps them in a constant fever of
anxiety. They are troubled about property, about friends, about trade, about
children, about servants. Though placed in circumstances which thousands of
their fellow-creatures would deem most enviable, they seem to be in a
perpetual fret. They harass themselves in reference to troubles that may never
come, difficulties they may never encounter, sorrows they may never live to
Instead of remembering the blessings of the past and rejoicing in the
mercies of the present, they are anticipating the trials and sorrows of the
In a word, “they are disquieted in vain.”

Finally, you will meet another class, quite different from either of the preceding
— keen, shrewd, industrious, money-making people who would live where
others would starve. There is not much “vain show” about them. They are too
solid, and life is too practical a reality for anything of that sort. Neither can you
say there is much disquietude about them. Theirs is an easy-going, quiet,
plodding spirit, or an active, enterprising, speculating turn of mind. “They heap
up, and know not who shall gather.”

But remember, on all three alike the Spirit has stamped “vanity.” Yes, “all”
without any exception, “under the sun,” has been pronounced by one who
knew it by experience and wrote it by inspiration, “vanity and vexation of
spirit.” Turn where you will “under the sun” and you will not find anything on
which the heart can rest. You must rise on the steady and vigorous pinion of
faith to regions “above the sun,” to find “a better and an enduring substance.”
The One who sits at the right hand of God has said, “I lead in the way of
righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: that I may cause them
that love Me to inherit substance, and I will fill their treasures” (Prov. 8: 20-21).

Proverbs  8:20  
I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the
paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit
substance; and I will fill their treasures.

None but Jesus can give “substance.” None but He can “fill.” None but He can
There is that in Christ's perfect work which meets the deepest
need of conscience. There is that in His glorious Person which can satisfy
the most earnest longings of the heart.
The one who has found Christ on the
cross and Christ on the throne, has found all he can possibly need for time or

Well might the psalmist, having challenged his heart with the question,
“What wait I for?” reply, “My hope is in Thee.” No “vain show,” no “vain
disquietude,” no “heaping up” for him.
He had found an object in God
worth waiting for. Therefore, turning away his eye from all beside, he
says, “My hope is in Thee.”

This, my beloved reader, is the only true, peaceful and happy position. The
soul that leans on, looks to, and waits for Jesus will never be disappointed.
Such an one possesses an exhaustless fund of present enjoyment in fellowship
with Christ. At the same time he is cheered by “that blessed hope” that when
this present scene, with all its “vain show,” its “vain disquietude” and its vain
resources shall have passed away, he shall be with Jesus where He is, to
behold His glory, to bask in the light of His countenance and to be conformed
to His image forever.

May we, then, be much in the habit of challenging our earth-bound, creatures-
seeking hearts with the searching enquiry, “What wait I for?”
Am I waiting
for some change of circumstances or “for the Son from heaven?” Can I
look up to Jesus and with a full and an honest heart, say, “Lord, my
hope is in Thee?”

May we be more thoroughly separated from this present evil world and all that
pertains thereto, by the power of communion with those things that are unseen
and eternal.

“From various cares my heart retires,
Though deep and boundless its desires,
I'm now to please but One;
He before whom the elders bow,
With Him is all my business now,
And with the souls that are His own.
“With these my happy lot is cast,
Through the world's deserts rude and waste,
Or through its gardens fair;
Whether the storms of trouble sweep,
Or all in dead supineness sleep,
Still to go on be my whole care.”

Written By: C.H. Mackintosh  c.1858


Related Reading:

Learning To Lean on Jesus
Trust in God, Hope in God
Give Your Burdens Over To The Lord
Having The Joy Of The Lord
I Am The Vine
The Bible Cure For Doubting Christians
Back to Home Page
Back to Home Page
We Believe

About Us



Guest Book

Links Page 1

Links Page 2


Poems Corner