The longer one walks with God the easier it is to recognize recurring themes that He addresses in our faith-journey. Some things come easily to you. Effortlessly you stride to, breeze through and hop over certain challenges and never slow your pace. Others around you stumble over these very same things and you secretly wonder why they are not stronger, more mature or victorious in these areas that you find so unchallenging. Yet if you slow down a little and survey your own life you find that there are some undeniable rough patches that you yourself still have not mastered. Perhaps it is in your marriage or maybe in your struggle with singlehood. It could be your lack of satisfaction in your career or your embarrassment that you really don’t have a career while all your peers do. You may be struggling with a habit that has mastered you for much longer than you ever predicted. It could be that you are laden with a perpetually guilty conscience, a sense of shame, a fear of failure or an untamed tongue which too often speaks things which you later regret. For many there is a struggle with money and a resulting lack of security or sense of stability. In our churches there are scores of people who have no motivation to pray, to serve, to worship, to give or to read their bibles…and they wonder why this remains the case with them while others share so freely. Recurring themes in our lives present recurring invitations from God to draw near to Him so that He can employ fatherly care as He makes us into the people He has ordained that we will be. The question is whether or not we will trust Him in the arena of our doubts, frustrations and fears.
Isaiah 7:9 – “If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.'” (ESV)
Isaiah 7:9 – “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.” (KJV)
Isaiah 7:9 – “If you will not believe, you surely shall not last.” (NAS)
Isaiah 7:9 – “Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.” (NLT)
Isaiah 7:9 – “If your faith does not remain firm, then you will not remain secure.” (NET)
Isaiah 7:9 – “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” (NIV)
Here is one verse presented to us in six different English translations. God is placing some responsibility squarely upon our shoulders. Let us be reinforced with the understanding that God expects us to be proactive in our trusting of Him. This is by no means a call to rustle up an emotion or some shallow form of positive thinking. This is about trusting a Person. This is about trusting a good Person who proved His care for us when He laid down His life in our place. This is about coming to the conclusion that we have some places in our lives that keep appearing and, unless Jesus helps us, we will never experience victory. We know that God’s ways are always higher than our own and that His thoughts are also distinct from human reasoning. Yet God has not left us without the ability to trust in Him when we are assaulted in life. When we know His character and His word we are then equipped to understand how to trust Him and what to look for when facing danger. He has never failed to keep His promises and He has left us with the responsibility of trusting Him no matter what we see before us. Sometimes this is called blind faith or blind trust. Better understood, we do well to call it absolute confidence or complete surrender. Isaiah writes above about God’s desire in chapter 7, verse 9 of his prophecy to Israel. As they were being faced with a forthcoming military battle they were also being tempted to panic and take matters into their own hands. God tells them that He is factoring in their own commitment to trust Him as part of the eventual outcome. For those of us who have strong confidence in the sovereignty of God, there may be a bit of hesitation when we consider that our personal faith bears weight on the outcome of some of our unknowns in life. Divine providence never equals human absence. Don’t wrestle too long with the mystery… focus on what is being asked of you. He is asking you to trust Him. Stronger still, He is calling you to trust Him. Perhaps we should go a little further and say that He is commanding you to trust Him. This is no easy task when it falls into areas of recurring struggles in our journey. We cannot glide through all areas of our lives. Sometimes we have to stop, kneel down, refuse to avoid the obstacles and call out to God for divine aid.
That is what He wants us to do. When we do so, we will experience the beginning of our victory and it will certainly conclude with a deeper embrace of God’s faithful character. We will gain so much by taking the time to face our fears and no longer allow ourselves to skirt the issue with Him. Its recurring frequency in your life is there for a reason: God does not want you not to depend on Him in any area of your life down here. Your struggle is His invitation to draw near. Don’t neglect the invite any longer. Answer this call today.