Isaiah: Striving Less and Trusting God

Day 4 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

The Pathway to Peace

Whether our fears are overblown or completely appropriate because life has thrown us some curveballs, most of us struggle to find peace in the midst of our problems. Isaiah’s message gives us hope that we can make internal choices that lead to peace when we face external forces that tempt us to worry.

Read Isaiah 7:1-9.

King Ahaz faced threats from two countries. One of these was Judah’s own family. Israel was the Northern Kingdom made of ten tribes that separated from Judah after Solomon’s reign. Israel teamed up with the pagan nation of Syria to come against Judah. Sometimes when our pain comes from unexpected places—like family, friends, or a church or job we thought was safe—our fears can feel magnified.

We all have challenges from external forces whether they’re happening directly to us or impacting us through the people we love. Perhaps your situation is a medical diagnosis, financial crisis, or relational conflict that has left you feeling like the people of Judah—“shaking in a storm” (v. 2).

The Lord told Ahaz to stop worrying. “Do not fear” is a command issued often throughout Scripture. Philippians 4:6 tells us “don’t worry about anything.” That sounds so good, but how do we do that? One commentator summarized God’s instruction to stand firm in faith as “trust or bust!”6

When I choose not to trust, I often revert to worry, excessive planning, or complaining about the problem to others. I could definitely put all those in the “bust” category!

The Lord doesn’t leave us without help in these moments. He wants to help us stand firm in our faith as He instructed Ahaz to do when facing his fears.

Read Isaiah 8.

God longed to care for His people like gently flowing waters. He alone could be their pathway to peace, yet so many times they rejected Him. They didn’t trust Him to care for them and instead looked to human strength, false gods, and mediums for guidance.

Read Isaiah 26:3.

We can decide to stop striving and trust God. When we do, we’ll find the power to obey commands like “stop worrying,” “don’t fear,” and “have faith,” even when life is scary. We can find perfect peace when we fix our thoughts on Him. I hope that no matter what type of challenge you are facing today, you can find peace in knowing that God loves you and longs to be your Defender!