January 02, 2023

Standing Firm

Devotion for the Week...

Happy New Year! Did you have a big celebration to welcome 2023? We have gotten into the habit of watching a movie as a family on New Year's Eve, timed so it ends just before midnight. Then we wish each other a happy new year...and go to bed. That's as exciting as it gets around here!

For the first devotion of the year, I have a verse that has stuck with me since I read it a month or so ago. It's part of Isaiah 7:9 and it says, "Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm." To give you the context, God was speaking through Isaiah to King Ahaz, who was king of Judah, when the kings of Israel and Syria had made an alliance to attack Jerusalem. Ahaz was worried (I would have been, too, I'm sure!), but God sent Isaiah to Ahaz to "tell him to stop worrying" (v. 4) and that "this invasion will never happen; it will never take place" (v. 7), followed by, "unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm."

Imagine if I twisted my ankle and couldn't stand, so a friend came and stood next to me so I could lean on her, my arm draped around her neck and hers around my waist. Together, we could keep me standing. That wouldn't work so well if the person who came to help was someone I didn't trust, or someone I thought didn't care if I got hurt. I wouldn't lean on them the same way and I might not accept their help at all. Similarly, God had Isaiah tell Ahaz that God couldn't help him stand firm if he didn't have faith that God could (and would) help. Not because God wasn't capable or willing to help, but because Ahaz wouldn't lean on God for support. Instead, he would hobble along in his own power, with his own understanding of the situation and his own solutions, which may or may not actually help.

While most of us have not lived with the threat of an imminent invasion, we have all dealt with situations that have made us worry, so we can identify with Ahaz in that moment. We know what it's like to be worried and afraid, to have no control over the situation we're facing. I believe God's message to Ahaz holds true for us, too. He can't make us stand firm through our troubles if we're not willing to lean on Him. We have to have faith that He is there, that He can help us and that He wants to help us. If our faith in Him is firm, we will lean on Him and He can make us stand firm through whatever comes our way.
God can make us stand firm through whatever comes our way | DevotedQuilter.com
But if we don't believe He is there in our troubles, or we don't believe He can help or that He wants to help, then we will pull away from Him. And if we're pulling away from Him, determined to go it alone in our own strength, then we're standing on a rickety foundation, indeed.

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