Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Remain tranquil and do not fear; let not your courage fail. (Isaiah 7:4)
Isaiah 7:1-9;Psalm 48:2-8; Matthew 11:20-24
In the face of a likely invasion from the north, Judah’s King Ahaz and the people of Jerusalem need some reassurance for their trembling hearts. How does Ahaz try to do that? By seeking a military alliance against his enemies. But the prophet Isaiah comes to tell him that political maneuvers won’t give him the kind of tranquility that God offers. That calm comes from a deep trust in the One who is more powerful than any adversary, including the hostile armies surrounding Jerusalem.
“Unless your faith is firm,” Isaiah warns, “you shall not be firm!” (Isaiah 7:9). Yes, Ahaz had to make careful political decisions. Yes, he had to consider his role as the leader of an embattled nation. But Ahaz had to decide whether he was going to make these decisions in faith or with human logic alone.
We’ve all encountered believers who radiate a deep peace—even joy—in the midst of overwhelming difficulties. We reach out to comfort them but end up having our own faith strengthened. Of course, these folks may also have strategies that help them cope, but the bedrock reality is that they are choosing to anchor their lives in the Lord and his faithfulness. When troubles arise, they don’t waste time analyzing whether their fear is reasonable or irrational. Instead, they turn to God and seek his courage, his wisdom, and his guidance.
We can’t always choose how to feel when hard times come, but we can choose whether we will base our lives on God or on our own strength and cleverness. Just as Peter in the boat still faced a stormy sea, we too will face storms. The question is whether we will anchor ourselves in the truth of Christ.
The best time to practice dropping this kind of anchor is before any storm overwhelms you. Today at least one circumstance will arise that you didn’t foresee. In that moment, stop and look to Jesus. Praise him because you know he is with you. Praise him for this opportunity, knowing that nothing can enter your life without his knowledge. Look to him, and try your best to follow his lead.
“Lord Jesus, help me set aside reliance on my own resources and ground my hope in your love alone.”~WAU