Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him. (Isaiah 30:18—NKJV)

The eternal principles found in this verse are full of encouragement and hope for every Christian going through a tough time. What Job says is true, “man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.” Believers are not immune to difficulties, trials, burdens, and turmoil. Sometimes the crisis is magnified for the believer because he grapples with his circumstance not just in the arena of mental wrestling but also in the forging fires of spiritual maturity. God never promises easy deliverance or even extrication from danger, but He does promise that He is there with you, every step of the way (Matthew 28:20).

Being left in the fire for the moment does not mean that God is not able to rescue you. He is able (2 Corinthians 9:8, Ephesians 3:20). He loves His child with an everlasting love (Romans 8:31–39). He has not forgotten you, abandoned you, rejected you, or gotten even with you (Isaiah 40:25, 46:5). We must take Him as He reveals Himself to us in the Scriptures in order to understand His handling of our lives, for He is a faithful Creator (1 Peter 4:19).

What promise does God give to those who find themselves in the middle of dire circumstances? What answer does God give to those who cry out for His action in their behalf? Isaiah 30 was written to a generation in Judah who found themselves in the crosshairs of a ruthless enemy. That enemy had been on a rampage. The brutal Assyrians had handily defeated all comers, the northern ten tribes of Israel had fallen and the enemy was advancing toward Jerusalem.

Judah’s first temptation was to make alliances which God had condemned and commanded against. The first verses of the chapter illustrate the results of wavering faith and disobedient self-direction. God plainly states that the consequences of falling into the hand of the enemy are dire, but so is the consequence of willful disobedience to His express commands. What is left for Judah to do but to trust wholeheartedly in Jehovah? That trust means to obediently and humbly wait upon His deliverance exclusively.

Beginning at verse 18, God outlines what waiting upon God looks like. Waiting upon God is having complete confidence in His love for you (18). It is praying earnestly and fervently in confidence that He hears you (19). It is complete trust in God’s doings (20). It is following God’s commands to the letter (21). Waiting is exclusively leaning upon Him in obedience (22).

Verse 18 reveals the gem to be cherished by every saint in the midst of sore distress. It unravels the mystery of why God waits to act. Know that heaven is not silent. God is not distracted. God waits in divine attentiveness with coiled strength for one reason alone, “that He may be gracious to you (show favor to you).” The text also says that He will be exalted (withdraw on high) so that He may show mercy (love displayed with compassion). He waits—and so we wait upon Him. Waiting is to look out with an earnest expectation and longing, with a desire for something. It is this sort of faith that will steel you for the task of enduring the wait, praying fervently, trusting exclusively, pursuing God, and displaying faithful obedience to Him.

Isaiah 33:6 reads, “Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times. And the strength of salvation; the fear of the Lord is His treasure.” This is the quality of confidence that God grants to all of His children in the times of trial—designing the trial to refine His saints. Are you willing to wait upon your loving Lord knowing He is awaiting the right and just time to show His strength and His mercy? Trust and obey.