Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Firm in Faith"

     As I wait for pictures from Peru (my camera liked the Andes Mountains so much that it decided to stay there permanently, so I have to wait for pix from the rest of the team), I thought I may as well start blogging about other random things. Nearly every morning (typically during devos) I think of all these posts I want to write... and then I don't do it. So today I'm doing it!
     I've been studying Isaiah lately, which (contrary to popular belief) is not a boring book to read at all! It is really fascinating! Man, there are so many good things in that book, you'll probably be seeing more posts on Isaiah in the near future :)

     One phrase that really stuck out to me is located in the middle of chapter 7. God is talking through Isaiah to Ahaz, the king of Judah, who is about to be attacked by the combined forces of Syria and Israel (as far as I understand). Ahaz is probably quite nervous at this point, to say the least. But God comforts Him with these words: "Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint" (7:4, ESV). God assures the frightened king that the coming attackers will not be victorious, then ends His speech with a seemingly random admonition. These two short lines really stuck out to me as I read them. While they were written for a specific king facing a specific problem at a specific time, these words from God outline an essential truth that applies to every person everywhere:
"If you are not firm in faith,
you will not be firm at all" (7:9).
     Now the word "faith" is thrown around constantly in Christian circles, though I don't think we always grasp the full meaning of what it means to be "firm in faith". I'll try not to make this post super-long, but real faith needs a bit of defining. I suppose the best thing to start with is the object of our faith. And this is actually the most important part of understanding what it means to be firm in faith! JESUS; the God who created the world; the only One who is perfectly holy and sinless; our Savior who loves us so much that He DIED to save us; the Risen King who defeated the power of death, sin, Satan, hell, and fear... JESUS is the object of our faith! Is He not worthy of 100% of our trust? He is the only unchanging being. He is our ANCHOR.

     Even if everything around us changes, lets us down, or fades away, Jesus will always remain. When we stop trusting in temporary things (money, comfort, our own ability, other people, earthly treasures, etc.) then we are free to trust 100% in Jesus. When that happens, when we are firm in faith, then our happiness, peace, joy, and security will not depend at all on our circumstances. I don't know about you, but I want to have that kind of faith!
      All this reminds me of a song...

     Anyway, thanks for listening to my rambling on about what I'm studying, and I hope you'll dig into the Word for yourself! It's sort of ironic, but I'm actually teaching on "Fear vs. Faith" tonight at the children's ministry I work with. The lesson is based on Numbers 13-14... go read it if you want to read a story about ten guys who were definitely not firm in faith... and two who were :)

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