(By Lisa Peat)
Fear: it can be debilitating!
News had come to King Ahaz of Judah that Syria had joined forces with Israel and they were going to attack Judah. Ahaz and the people’s hearts trembled in fear. What was going to happen to them?
The Lord sent Isaiah with a message of hope to King Ahaz and told him to stop worrying and trust in God, the invasion wouldn’t happen.
We trust the Lord for salvation, but why is it so hard to trust Him with our story?
The Lord told King Ahaz that if he was not firm in faith, he would not be firm at all (Isaiah 7:9b).
To quote John N. Oswalt “Unless Ahaz puts his faith in God and what God has said through his prophet, then he will have to give way to fear. But if he will firmly believe in God, then he can stand in quiet confidence no matter how desperate the immediate circumstances may appear.”
How do we stand firm in our faith when we are fearful about a situation?
Believing God doesn’t come naturally. Our natural tendency is to worry, fret, and fear over a situation. We have to learn to submit to His authority. Learn to step out in faith and trust that God is who He says He is, He will do what He said He would do, and we are who God says we are.
God wants to be believed. He wants to be our peace, our strong tower, and our mighty fortress when fears invade.
In verses 10-14 of Isaiah 7, the Lord invited King Ahaz to ask Him for a sign to prove that He would crush Ahaz’s enemies. “Ask the LORD your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want — as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead.” But Ahaz said, “No, I will not test the LORD like that."
Ahaz refused to put his trust in God. He looked to those around him to protect him and bring him peace.
Instead of walking away when Ahaz refused to ask for a sign, the Lord gave Him a sign — and what a sign it was! It was a sign that brings us hope, that anchors our heart when fears arise:
“The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means 'God is with us'” (Isaiah 7:14b).
Why can we trade fear for peace?
Because our Prince of Peace has come. Our God, who knows the beginning from the end, has promised to be with us and in us.
Standing firm in faith doesn’t come easy. My tendency is to be anxious and fearful, but I am slowly learning to bring my fear to God and rest in His love and His unchanging character.
Friend, my prayer for you is that you will know how much God loves you, is for you, and will never leave you, and that knowing and resting in that knowledge will push away your fears and bring you peace.