To the captive children of Israel, the prophet Isaiah made a promise. When it feels like God has forsaken you, like your covenant relationship with Him has been broken, you need only look up to see that He is still with you. Rescue is on the way. You may have to wait patiently and hopefully, but the relief will come. Kings and queens will nurture you. They will even bow down before you and do your bidding. When that time comes, you will know that the Lord has always been on your side. “They shall not be ashamed that wait for me” (Isaiah 49:23).
Nephi quoted this passage to his brothers soon after arriving on the American continent (1 Nephi 21:23). Years later, Nephi assigned his younger brother Jacob to deliver a sermon based in part on this passage. After quoting that scripture (2 Nephi 6:7), Jacob offered his own interpretation. The children of Israel, he said, will suffer much, both before and after the coming of the Savior. But one day, they will receive God’s mercy. They will be gathered. Their enemies will be destroyed. And many Gentiles will repent and join them. The moral of this story will be evident to all who see it unfold:
The people of the Lord shall not be ashamed.
For the people of the Lord are they who wait for him;
for they still wait for the coming of the Messiah.
(2 Nephi 6:13)
What does it mean to wait for the Lord?
Elder Robert D. Hales provided the following guidance:
In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust. To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith, patience, humility, meekness, long-suffering, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end (“Waiting Upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done,” General Conference, October 2011).
As I’ve pondered this concept today, I’ve had the following additional thoughts:
- It means to keep your composure when you experience difficulties, because you believe that help will come.
- It means to continue moving forward, even when the assurance that you’re doing the right thing comes only intermittently.
- It means to keep the covenants you have made with God, believing that His promises will all be fulfilled.
- It means to prepare for the coming of the Savior, even though other people doubt that it will happen.
Today, I will wait for the Lord. I will remain faithful to Him even when my own knowledge is imperfect and my circumstances less than ideal. I will trust Him and follow through on the promises I have made to Him, knowing that He will keep all of His promises and that I will not be ashamed.