15th Week in Ordinary Time
Unless your faith is firm you shall not be firm! (Isaiah 7:9)
King Ahaz and the people of Judah trembled with fear. Enemy forces had begun a siege on Jerusalem and were poised to invade the holy city. In fear for his people and his own life, Ahaz began contemplating the unthinkable: perhaps he should seek help from the mighty Assyrian army to stave off this attack. The problem with such a strategy? Ahaz would have to surrender to Assyria and turn Judah into a vassal state. Even worse, he would have to remove the altar of the Lord from the Temple and erect an altar to the Assyrians’ gods in its place—and offer sacrifices to these gods.
In response to this strategy, the Lord sent the prophet Isaiah to urge Ahaz to hold firm. “Remain tranquil and do not fear,” he told the king (Isaiah 7:4). He told him to cling to his faith in God’s ability to protect him and his people. Without that faith, neither he nor Jerusalem would be able to stand.
Isaiah’s words show us that faith really does matter. It mattered for Ahaz, and it matters for us. Faith sets the foundation of our lives, just as a house’s foundation provides a solid footing for the building and a safe environment for the people who live there.
Our faith in Jesus can do the same for us. It grounds us so that we can live with hope, even in the most challenging of environments. It equips us to meet tough situations with peace. It helps us to remain on the path of obedience. Best of all, it brings us joy and comfort because it tells us that God is with us and that our difficulties are never the end of the story.
We all have situations that tempt our faith—an illness, perhaps, or a job change or a wounded relationship. But just as he told Ahaz, God says to us, “Stand firm in your faith!”
Ahaz’ situation seemed desperate, but God had an answer for him. Even so, our challenges may seem insurmountable, but God has an answer for us as well. It may not always be the answer we are looking for, but in faith, we can trust that it’s the best answer possible.
“Jesus, I believe that you are with me. Help me to stand firm in my faith today.”
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