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Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.” – Luke 2:25-32
Wait. Hope. Trust. These make up the trinity of faith. I’m not speaking of the Holy Trinity, the three-in-one nature of God here. I am speaking of a beautifully-woven working of the Holy Spirit in the heart of a believer. The three are truly inseparable. If we trust, we will wait. As we wait we will hope. We hope because we trust God’s promises, goodness, and power to be at work for our good.
And when it comes to consolation, oh my do we need that these days! There are the obvious ways in which the consolation of God is so needed. A loved-one dies. A job opportunity evaporates. A friend catches COVID. A dream must be discarded. Loss is all around.
But there are other ways in which our hearts ache. We yearn for a good thing we cannot have. We long for a relief to the stress of life in a fallen world. We wish for an end to a painful illness. We see loved ones making shipwreck of their faith. We watch as people ignore God and believe the lies of the devil. Our flesh beguiles us toward unhealthy and even ungodly pursuits.
Even if these do not intrude in your life, Blaise Pascal said it well: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made know through Jesus Christ.”
Simeon knew that need. And he waited, hoped, and trusted in God to fill that void. He recognized, also, that this was not his need alone. He looked for the consolation of Israel. His people. His countrymen. His kith and kin needed this consolation. And now it is before his eyes.
We live in the afterglow of that vision. Jesus has appeared. And we are the richer for it. We can look back on what God has done in Jesus to save us. Yet we, too, must wait, hope, and trust. For although we have been saved by Jesus, we are yet being saved day-by-day through the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit. And yet we look forward to the time when we will be saved on the Great Last Day. Then all of God’s promises will be fully fulfilled. Then we will be fully consoled. Then our hearts will have no rival god to woo us from the True God and his salvation.
Powered by the Holy Spirit, we wait. Secured in Jesus we hope. Emboldened by God’s promises we trust. That’s the trinity of faith we must all embrace until we see it ourselves, and we see Him face to face.