Our daughter, Rachel, keeps a verse from Isaiah 7:9 on our kitchen blackboard. It was a word to the wicked King of Judah, Ahaz. “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” On the heels of that comes the great sign and prophecy about the birth of Jesus being Immanuel “God with us.” The way we stand firm in our faith is not primarily through self-discipline and endurance as important as those are, but rather through clinging to and surrendering our lives to Jesus who is God with us.

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