by Steve DuPlessie | January 7, 2018
So I’m struggling lately with facing some unknowns in my life. And when I was reading in Isaiah this week, one verse struck me in chapter 7, a verse that challenged me and encouraged me in a time when I am struggling with knowing exactly what to do. I want to challenge you and encourage you with God’s word this morning. So take a moment and turn in your bible with me to one of my favorite bible books, the book of Isaiah, chapter 7, right in the middle of your bible.
The writer here, a man named Isaiah, had just been called by God – that’s chapter 6 – to speak to the king of Judah named Ahaz. Ahaz the king was being threatened by bullies all around him. And here in chapter 7 God is giving Isaiah the words to say to the king. Jump down to chapter 7, verse 9, with me, the last half of the verse, God told Isaiah to tell King Ahaz…
If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.
That’s the NIV. I know some other translations are variations on that.
Underline that verse in your bible and put a star out in the margin next to it. “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”
That’s both a challenge and an encouragement for us, too. A challenge because God clearly says that standing firm in your faith is key to standing firm in your life. Standing firm in your faith, trusting God to be God, trusting God to be good, trusting God to know you and know all about what it is that’s happening in your life, and to be present, to be with you in every circumstance.
Standing firm in your faith is key to standing firm in your life
So 1 Corinthians 16:13 tells us, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” Standing firm for holiness and pleasing God in that questionable relationship takes courage. I had a brother tell me this week he had to give up a relationship because it wasn’t going in a God-honoring, God-pleasing direction and he couldn’t stand the contradiction between what he knows is right and what was happening. That’s the courage of standing firm in faith, and in life.
Standing firm in God’s forgiveness when Satan brings those thoughts of guilt and shame for your past back into the present. Standing firm when that old temptation, the one you thought was dead and gone long ago, comes back to try to lure you again. Standing firm in faith when your uncertainty about the future threatens to bury you fear. And in each case standing firm in faith is key to standing firm in life.
Deb reminded me this week of the stories of faith in Hebrews 11. And in each case, those women and men listed there, those heroes of faith, they were recognized because their faith was demonstrated in their life, what they actually said and did. Abraham left everything and everyone he knew to go to a place he didn’t even know about. There was no Wikipedia. No Google maps. Rahab trusted God with her life when she hid the Hebrew spies in her house. For those women and men, standing firm in faith was key to standing firm in life.
And I suspect that there is something, some situation, some challenge in your life today that is calling for you to stand firmly in faith, trusting God, not doubting, and it’s very real, not just a concept but an opportunity to see God at work in your life. Maybe it’s launching that missional business plan. Maybe it’s exploring serving God overseas as a missionary. Maybe its trusting God with something in your life that’s way too big for you to control or to fix. Standing firm in faith is key to standing firm in life.