Isaiah 7:1-9

Art Lucero

“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” (Isaiah 7: 9b)

"By the time you foreclose on my house I’ll be dead.” So read the FAX sent to PHH Mortgage Corporation. Immediately company officials notified the local police. But by the time police arrived, 53 year old Carlene Balderrama had already shot herself with her husband’s rifle, just 90 minutes before her home was to be auctioned.

King Ahaz of Judah was also stressed out, fearful, and greatly depressed when he heard of the enemies that had planned to overrun Jerusalem. The Scriptures say that, “Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind." Like Carlene Balderrama, Ahaz and his people were emotionally overwhelmed. So much so that the Lord sent Isaiah to comfort them, “Say to him” the Lord told Isaiah, “Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart…”

Circumstances in life have a way of filling our hearts with fear, discouragement, and depression. In an attempt to reassure King Ahaz, the Lord made him this promise through the Prophet Isaiah, “the Sovereign LORD says: ‘It will not take place, it will not happen.’” Again like Carlene Balderrama no words of assurance could bring comfort to Ahaz’s heart. The issue was not with God’s promise but with Ahaz’s willingness to rest in it. So the Lord said to him, “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”

In times of great emotional turmoil there is only one remedy, faith in the promises of God. When all else is lost in this world, God never fails us. Faith will not change the circumstances but it will strengthen us and fill our hearts with the peace and comfort of God. Standing firm in our faith is the difference between an emotional breakdown like Carlene that lost all hope, and an inner strength that sustains us through the most difficult circumstances in life.

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