General George Patton once said, “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer. If you give in to your fears, you are on the path to defeat. If instead you stand strong in spite of your fears, you are on the path to victory. And we must never forget that we are not in the battle alone. With the power of God on our side, we cannot be defeated.” Sadly, ancient King Ahaz did not have faith in the face of his fears. Two northern nations were threatening to invade his land. God sent the Prophet Isaiah to assure him he didn’t need to worry about these two leaders. God described them as leftover embers of a burned fire—powerless. But King Ahaz rejected God’s offer to give him a sign that could strengthen his faith. God said he would give him a sign anyway. The sign would be a son born to a virgin. The son’s name would be Immanuel.  God said before that son reaches the age of 12, the two nations the king feared would be gone–deserted. Yet that same name, Immanuel, was a prophecy to designate the virgin birth of another Son—One who would be born hundreds of years later. Jesus Christ is the Son born to Mary. Faith in God enables us to cope with life’s fears today. Faith in God’s Son prepares us for eternal life.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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