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Keeping Steady in a Shaky World

Andrew Stevens

December 16, 2021 • Eliana Duran • Isaiah 7

The holiday season isn’t always a time of joy. Stress can push at us from all sides—family, school deadlines, Christmas preparations, etc. Life is shaky. And not just for us. While Ahaz was king of Judah, his life was pretty shaky too. Both Syria and Israel (what was left of it after it split from Judah) were ganging up on his kingdom. In response, Ahaz put his hope in the king of Assyria to save Judah, even giving him gold and silver from the Lord’s temple (2 Kings 16:7-9). But God invited Ahaz to put his trust in Him instead. Speaking through a prophet, God gave Ahaz this encouragement: “Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood—because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah” (Isaiah 7:4). God wanted Ahaz to know that despite the smoldering national threats surrounding him, Ahaz’s life was securely in God’s hands. The Lord went on to tell Ahaz some powerful words that continue to ring true for us today. “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all” (Isaiah 7:9). Like Ahaz, we cannot stand firm through our troubles unless we rely on God and put our hope in Him above all others. When we take our focus off God, we are easily overcome with worries. The key to remaining steady is pressing into relationship with God and leaning on His grace when we fail. Did I mention God gave Ahaz a promise? “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Immanuel was on His way. Hundreds of years later, a virgin named Mary became pregnant through the Holy Spirit, and she gave birth to the promised Son, Jesus (Matthew 1:18-25). His name means “God with us.” He lived among us and, out of love, gave His own life for ours. If we put our trust in ourselves, friends, or kings to save us, we’ll be let down. The only one worthy of our trust is God, who sent His Son to be our Savior. Jesus’s birth, life, death, and resurrection made a way for us to enjoy God’s nearness. Once we’ve put our trust in Jesus, He helps us stand firm in our faith—and He forgives us when we mess up. Immanuel keeps us steady in a shaky world. • Eliana Duran • What is causing you stress today? Consider bringing these things to God, who loves you dearly. • What are some ways you’ve seen God’s faithfulness in your own life? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)