“…never forget, that until the day when God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words, – ‘Wait and hope’.– Your friend,
Count of Monte Cristo”
I just finished this incredible book last night after several days of hardly being able to put it down for anything. The theme of revenge and forgiveness is the central focus of the book, in which the Christian principle of forgiveness triumphs in the end and the main character gains the humility to allow God to be sovereign instead of taking vengeance into his own human hands. Though revenge and justice is the main theme, the last words of Edmond Dantés, which are also the last words of the book, seem to address so much more than this.
Though this advice is particularly suited to a person in a position like Edmond Dantés, falsely accused, betrayed by some friends and deserted by the rest, it can apply to almost anyone. Wait and hope is profound advice because it causes the person to stop before they take matters into their own hands. By waiting they demonstrate that they have the patience and contentment that comes from the belief that God is just and will not allow the innocent to suffer forever. In hoping, they display the belief that God is loving and will show mercy to even the worst of people.
For the Christian, who is looking forward to this day of the Lord (2 Peter 3:12), waiting and hoping should be a natural part of their being. 2 Peter 3 goes on to talk about how the Lord’s justice will destroy the earth, but also in keeping with his promise, Christians can look forward to a new heaven and a new earth, which is described as a home of righteousness. This day will be the culmination of God’s justice in destroying the sin crippled earth and his great love and mercy that offers a new home to those who have waited on him and put their hope in him. We should not grow weary and fear that Christ will never return to us, because he has given us guarantees of his promise. We need to remember that God’s slowness is really his patience, desiring the salvation of many.
I do want to clarify that I think the Christian life should be full of action, obeying the Great Commission and being the hands and feet of Jesus. Waiting does not mean inaction, but an acknowledgment that something better is coming and even while we act on what Christ has told us to do, we wait and hope for what he has told us will come. That waiting and hoping should permeate every part of our lives. Our hope should actually increase our action because we so firmly believe in Christ’s return and in what he has prepared for us that we obey him with greater zeal and passion for the sake of an eternal reward.
So when I am angry over injustice, wait and hope. God is a better judge than I am. When I am feeling weighed down with suffering and pain, wait and hope. God has a great plan and suffering is not my final end. When I am fearful of the future, wait and hope. I do not need to fear the future, because I can eagerly anticipate the good in store for me. And when I am overcome with happiness and blessing, wait and hope. God has even more abundant life in store for me and I will never be able to reach the end of his love or generosity!