Every day I step forward in my faith in Christ, I grow more and more in awe of him and the depth of his Word. The books of the Bible that were perhaps confusing or even boring to me as a kid, now contain words that just jump off the page at me in relevance and truth.
This was the case a week or so ago, as I visited my son’s church in Kentucky. Though I could have been distracted by the gorgeous sanctuary, my eyes were fixed on their speaker for the day, a lovely pastor from West African background, Jones Ndzi. His sermon was from the book of Isaiah.
Though I hadn’t prepared to take notes; when he read this verse, I grab my phone and started typing:
So, I began to ask myself: Am I standing firm in my faith?
Lately, I’ve had much to shake me in my faith for sure, from tragedies in the lives of people near to me, to struggles at work, to national events, and even global crises. As my eldest son and I drove up to Louisville, we talked about how hard things were these days. Now not only was this pastor speaking into this, but a prophet of over two thousand years seemed to have a telescope into my soul.
Without firm faith, I can’t stand at all. Lord, I need some firming up!
As I’m having this internal conversation, the pastor continued to speak, and once again, as it should be, uses the Word of God to help me out.
Standing firm means I remain loyal to God. What does that look like? Read for yourself verses 11 through 19, and note these points:
- A person who is loyal to God doesn’t call conspiracy everything the people call conspiracy (v.12). Wow, what place to start! God must have given Isaiah a vision into modern-day twitter feeds! I can grab hold of this point and remind myself to take a breath before repeating everything I hear. Basically, it’s telling me to not let words shake me or my faith.
- Don’t fear what other people fear (v.12). No commentary needed on that one, really, but again, for me, it’s a reminder to take a breath, step back, and because I’m standing firm in my faith in God, know I won’t be drawn into fearing what the world fears.
- Fear and dread the Lord alone (v.13). He’s the one who holds life and death in his hands, after all.
- For those who trust the Lord, who fear him alone, God will be our sanctuary (v. 14). I can stand firm, because in him I have protection.
- While others may stumble due to unbelief, God will protect those who trust in him (v. 16).
- As we wait for the day of his return, he gives reminders and signs of his presence and purpose (v.18).
- While the world consults mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, we inquire of God (v.19). The depravity of our world is turning from materialism to blatant Satanism. They are inquiring of the dead on behalf of the living. We seek the living and true God, who never changes.
God revealed to Isaiah and his people the sign of the Child that would bring great hope and salvation. We have the privilege to believe in the Christ who came and now look forward to his return.
In the meantime, we stand firm. We must, because if we don’t stand firm, we will not stand at all. We stand, not firm in ourselves, but in Christ the solid rock, and that gives me great encouragement this day and for the days to come. I trust it does you as well.
Grace and Peace