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Daily Devotional Psalm 40:1–17

When my husband and I started the China adoption process in 2005, we were told it would take eighteen months. Then, because of a bureaucratic logjam, we waited for six long years. At times, I was patient. But at other times, I felt frustration, even anger, because of the delay. No one likes to sit in the waiting room. But waiting is a part of the human experience, and God’s timing is often not ours. We love God by waiting well.

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.

PSALM 40:1

In Psalm 40, David “waited patiently for the LORD” (v. 1). There is a richness in the Hebrew that isn’t captured in the English phrase. The original language is full of hope and confidence. This “patient waiting” wasn’t just David biding his time. Instead, it was waiting with great anticipation, focusing on the good that God would certainly bring.

In verses 2–3, David describes the Lord’s deliverance. God lifted him from the muck and placed his feet in a firm place. He was transformed from hopeless and helpless to safe and secure. God put a new song in David’s mouth. In verse 4, David reveals the secret: trust and an unwavering confidence that the Lord is working for our good and His glory.

David’s extended testimony of praise follows (vv. 5–10), spoken directly to the Lord (“you”), but for the benefit of all who would hear. He declares his desire to do the will of God (v. 7), and he proclaims the righteousness and faithfulness of the Lord (vv. 9–10). David could trust because God’s character is sure.

But even with this assuredness, David appeals again to God for help— for mercy, love, and truth to abound (vv. 11–17). It is a personal plea for deliverance from the consequences of sin. And he finishes with an appeal for haste. “You are my God, do not delay.”

Go Deeper

Are you in the “waiting room” right now? How can you honor and love God during your time of waiting?

Pray with Us:

Can we love You with our whole being even in times of uncertainty, doubt, and anxiety? Almighty God, grant us patience, trust, and deep love for You in the “waiting rooms” of our lives.

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