January 22

If you do not stand firm in faith, you shall not stand at all. Isaiah 7:9 

Fight the good fight of the faith; take hole of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I Timothy 6:12

Standing firm seems very important during these slippery wintry days. As we walk outside the footing is anything but firm. There are layers of snow, some fluffy, some heavy and wet. And under much of the snow there is ice. As the snow blows away, there is still that ice there. We need to have firm footing in order to walk safety, much less actually stand. Somehow the verse from Isaiah seems appropriate to a Minnesota winter – we can’t stand on the slippery surface and so we are not standing as we fall.

However, there is solid footing under that slippery surface. There are concrete sidewalks, and asphalt parking lots that offer very firm footing, we just need to get that under our feet. Once we have a secure solid footing, we can stand, and walk; maybe even run if we feel like it and our legs allot it.

Our faith is much like that solid concrete sidewalk. Something we can rely on as we trust in God’s promises. In Isaiah the leaders of the people are busily trusting in other sources for protection. They had not done so well in their battles as they depended on people rather than their Lord.  But God, as always, is with them and has just said that an invasion will not take place, it will not happen as long as they continue firm in their faith.

Paul also tells Timothy to continue in his faith. He tells him to fully claim his faith and its benefits.  After all many people were witnesses to his confession of faith (a reference to his baptism?) and his calling. But that is not the end, faith is a living ongoing phenomenon; something to be acted on. This is advice for us as well. Our faith can be strong and fruitful as we depend on God for our strength and a sure footing as we go through our lives. Whether in times of trouble or times when we can share the Good News and serve our Lord, we can stand with God’s help. 

Mighty God, we need your strength in these difficult times. Lord, we stand firm and take hold, but we dare not trust in our own strength. Grant us this day, and every day, the strength to be firm in our belief and hold on to your promises. We ask that you pour your strength into us so together we can face the problems we see all around us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Chris Gabel