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Stand in Faith

Stand in Faith

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Say to him, “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

During this season when we give thanks for God’s many blessings and His faithfulness, enjoy this collection of devotions on what it means for us to be people of faith. As an expression of your faith and thankfulness, find out how you can help elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union who are alone and in need of lifesaving assistance this holiday season.

A 19th century Hasidic master once said, “Without God, a person can’t cross the street; but with God, a person can split the sea . . .” In other words, without God we can’t do anything, but through God all things are possible.

In our verses today, the prophet Isaiah was commanded to deliver a message to Ahaz, king of Judea. Ahaz was distressed since the king of Israel had teamed up with the king of Aram against Judea. The message delivered to him in Isaiah 7:4 was this: “Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood . . .” God assured Ahaz that his enemies would not be victorious over him. “It will not take place, it will not happen” (v. 7), God reaffirmed several verses later.

However, why the need for so many expressions for the same message? Couldn’t God have simply said, “Don’t be afraid”?

When Abraham was troubled in Genesis 15:1, God told him, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield . . .” When Isaac was worried in Genesis 26:24, God said, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you . . .” And twice in Jeremiah 46:27–28, God told his people, “Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant . . .” If it was enough for Abraham, Isaac, and the descendants of Jacob to simply hear, “Don’t be afraid,” then why wasn’t it enough for Ahaz?

To answer the question, we have to understand who Ahaz was. In short, he was one of the most wicked and ungodly kings to ever reign over Judea. For the believer who has a relationship with God, it’s enough to gently remind him or her not to fear. But the person who depends on his or her own strength and abilities suffers from more fear and needs more reassurance.

This was the case with Ahaz, who had pushed God away at every chance possible. Once a person is so distant from God, it’s hard to have the faith needed to get through hard times. A few verses later in Isaiah, the prophet put it this way: “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all” (v. 9). We need our faith to carry us through hard times. If we have cultivated a faith relationship with God all along, we’ll remember not to fear and that will be enough. However, if we ignore God’s presence in our daily lives, then our anxiety level will be such that getting to a place of trust will be extremely difficult.

Today, let’s remember Isaiah 7:4 and cultivate our faith relationship with God. Let’s remember that God is the Source of our strength. Without Him we are nothing; with Him we can do anything!

Join us in helping elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union who are alone and in need of lifesaving assistance this holiday season.

Hebrew Word of the Day

November 17, 2019

Food

Feed — Lehachil

YAEL'S HOLY LAND REFLECTIONS

Reflections from the Sea of Galilee

A much-needed family trip to this biblical body of water shows how God can restore us, renew us, and bless us.

Monthly Teaching Resource

Tisha B’Av - Teaching Our Children Hope

Listen as Fellowship President and CEO Yael Eckstein explains the Jewish observance, Tisha B’Av, which occurs this month at sundown July 29-July 30, and the lessons of hope that can be found in the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, from her audiobook, Generation to Generation: Passing on a Legacy of Faith to Our Children. **

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How to Help

Pray With Us

Please join us as we gather together for prayer and healing during these painful and tense times in America by phone, Tuesday, July 28th, at 8 PM Eastern Time/7 PM Central Time/ 5 PM Pacific Time. Call in at 1-877-365-5237 to join. Yael Eckstein and The Fellowship’s Chairman of the Board, Bishop Lanier, will lead our Fellowship Family in prayer through this difficult time, and with our prayers may we find peace.  

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