There are no shortage of challenges that leave us doubting God:
- Unanswered prayers
- Unhealed bodies
- Unending difficulties
- The relentless onslaught of an unbelieving culture
Where do we go, what do we do when our confidence in God sagging?
Isaiah has the answer.
One day the Old Testament prophet came face-to-face with King Ahaz, a man in need of a faithlift. Two rival kings were bearing down on the beleaguered Ahaz. These kings left Ahaz (and his nation) shaking like leaves before a strong wind.
Isaiah was God's strong medicine. Read his words carefully. They are help for faltering faith:
And the LORD said to Isaiah, "Go out to meet Ahaz . . . . And say to him, 'Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remaliah. Because Syria, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has devised evil against you, saying, "Let us go up against Judah and terrify it, and let us conquer it for ourselves, and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it," thus says the Lord GOD:
"'It shall not stand, and it shall not come to pass. For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. And within sixty-five years Ephraim will be shattered from being a people. And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.'" Isaiah 7:3-9 ESV
There are times when God comforts us. Then there are times when God provides a "kick in the seat of the pants." God's word through Isaiah was the latter.
As I reflect on that interaction, I see three things I need to do for a faithlift:
- Tell my quivering heart to "get a grip."
Isaiah told Ahaz, "Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint." What's got you scatterbrained and sidetracked? Our faith goes south when we let our cross hairs settle on our circumstances rather than God. Don't do that. Get quiet before God. Rest in him. He really does care for you. Armed with that perspective I can tell my heart to "Get a grip!"
- Look at the situation from God's perspective.
When Rezin and Pekah decided to join forces against Ahaz, the Scripture says "the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind" (7:2). Why was Ahaz shaking in his boots? Because he saw his opponents' fierce anger from his perspective. To Ahaz the opposing kings were bigger and stronger, a bonfire of burning fury! To God they were just "two smoldering stumps"in the fire pit. What do you think your troubles look like from God's perspective? Take that view today!
- Stand firm in faith.
God's solution for weak-kneed faith is faith! "If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all." Your struggles are nothing new. If you think they are just read Hebrews 11 (especially verses 6 and 13). Don't get tricked into believing that old line, "seeing is believing." Faith is not wishful thinking. Faith is confident expectation. There is a huge difference between those two.
All God's people walk by faith. Some days that is easier than others. If your faith is taking a beating, take these words to heart:
God's got this! Stand firm.