“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”1 Corinthians 15:58
Hope waits, above all, for Christ. That does not mean it is idle. Hope incites action. “Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness” (2 Corinthians 3:12, NRSV). Waiting is not hibernating. But if hope is not idle, neither is it anxious or hysterical. Anxiety says to God, “You sure are slow to act.” Hysteria says, “So I will act for you!” Hope, in contrast, says, “I know you are not slow to fulfill your promise. Whatever delay I perceive is for my good and for your glory” (see 2 Peter 3:9). When our hope is in Christ, the God of hope gives us peace through the power of His Holy Spirit (see Romans 15:13). Only when Jesus Himself is our hope does it become a blessed wait and not a cursed burden.
So how do we wait well? Well, by waiting! Consider: Christ waited 30 years to formally begin His ministry, and three more to complete it. “But what is more efficacious than Christ when he died? He was most practical when he seemed to do nothing. In patience he reigned and triumphed” (Richard Sibbes, 1637).
With us or apart from us, in us or in spite of us—God will accomplish His purpose, according to His promise, in His time.