Set Your Face like a Flint
by Anne Peterson
"Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame." - Isaiah 50:7
One Christmas, our Bible teacher gave each of us a specially chosen verse. Mine was Isaiah 50:7. Lois knew me. She knew coming from an abusive home, I wore shame like a well-fitted sweater. Our father was authoritarian. We were not cherished, we were physically abused.
Lois also taught us that we needed to grow in our faith for our journeys ahead. There were truths I would unpack even years after Lois slipped into heaven to be with the one she served, both as a missionary with her husband, Don, and as a Bible teacher to a bunch of us who met weekly in their home. How would I ever make it in the real world, outside of that fellowship?
… the Sovereign Lord helps me…
After we trust in Christ, we still need the Lord’s help. God is sovereign. He is the one who possesses ultimate power. Little by little, I learned about that power. How it was unparalleled. How no one ever had, nor ever would have power like God’s power. I learned God’s salvation was not the only thing He provided for us. God became the father I needed. One who would help me when I turned to Him.
First, God showed me that I did need His help. I want to confess I used to be a controller. It’s something I learned growing up in a house that lacked boundaries and tenderness. After we lost our mother, when I was in my teens, I decided I would have to look out for myself. But I was unequipped. But being sovereign, God knew that. He was there to help me grow up in faith, and learn to trust Him. But first, I needed to get rid of something.
…I will not be disgraced
One thing I lacked was self confidence. God showed me I could give Him the shame I had carried. God showed me I was valued because He created me. He loved me and wanted me to grow up in that love, and to trust Him for everything I needed because He is our sufficiency (2 Corinthians 3:5). And just as David learned how to rely on God’s strength, God taught me the same thing. Instead of carrying shame as I had for years, God told me in His Word what He thought of me as His daughter.
I started learning how to trust God and His unfailing love. As a child, we attended Awana clubs where seeds were planted about Jesus. But now that I knew Him personally, God would grow me up in Him. So what was first?
I set my face like flint…
I would have to learn determination, perseverance, and commitment. My trials were my training ground. I learned to fix my eyes on the Lord. For when we trust God alone, that pleases Him (Hebrews 11:6).
Sometimes we read scripture, but we have our own understanding of it. Like when Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Jesus spoke of how He is the vine and we are the branches who totally rely on Him. But we act as if without Him we can do less, almost as if God needs our help. And though I see how silly that sounds, why else will I refuse to let go as God works?
Learning to let go is difficult, but when we actually do, we see that God will ultimately come through for us. And He continues to do that over and over. The answers God provides may look different than what we prayed for, but God’s ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). And what is another byproduct of my trusting God?
I will not be put to shame…
God comes through for us. We’re not just left with our needs unmet. It reminds me of the story of a little girl who stood up to recite the 23rd Psalm, and she said, “The Lord is my shepherd and that’s all I want.”
God is Jehovah Jireh - the Lord who provides. He’ll always come through for us. We need to learn how to wait on His timing. And God will teach us how to wait well.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
What trials are you facing in your life? What verse(s) have you leaned on in your present circumstances? Another helpful thing is to memorize those verses so the Holy Spirit can recall them when we need that encouragement.
My hands are clenched,
my knuckles white,
I’m hanging on with all my might.
And then I hear God whisper low,
“Come on, My Child, let go.”
-Anne Peterson © 2020
Lord, I come before you, thank you for being sovereign. Thank you that you are all-sufficient. Father, help us when we try to handle our situations on our own, instead of placing them in your capable hands. Will you help us release them to You? We ask this in Your Son’s precious and Holy name. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
For Further Reading:
Do a study of the word ‘sovereign’
Read my article on Crosswalk: God is Right Next to You
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Made Suta / EyeEm
Anne Peterson is a poet, speaker, and published author of 16 books. Her most recent book is Always There: Finding God's Comfort through Loss. Anne has published 42 Bible Studies and numerous articles with christianbiblestudies.com. She has been a regular contributor to Crosswalk for seven years. Visit Anne’s website at annepeterson.com and sign up for a free eBook or visit her Facebook page. You can also subscribe to Anne’s YouTube channel where you can watch her recite her poems and share her heart.