Tag Archive | stand by faith

Luke 21: 17-19 ” All men will hate you because of Me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.”

Standing firm in the middle of trials and tests can take herculean strength on our part.  For just standing firm and not surrendering to the circumstances can take every bit of our patience and perseverance.  That’s when standing firm I think takes on a active connotation…you may not be moving forward…but you’re sure as not falling back.  Standing firm then means endurance, long-suffering, and self-control.

Hebrews 11:5 ” By faith Enoch was taken from this life so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.”

It tells us in Genesis 5:22-24 that Enoch lived for 365 years…faithfully walking with God…and then he was no more, because God took him away.  The word used here is “translated”, or conveyed to heaven without tasting death.  The only other person to experience this was the Old Testament prophet Elijah.   But unlike Enoch,  Elijah’s departure was witnessed as he was carried off by a whirlwind. (II Kings 2:11)  What these two men did have in common though was their unshakable faith in desperate times, godliness in the face of persecution, and the boldness to speak the truth no matter what.

Matthew 4:1 ” Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”

With each temptation, the devil offered Jesus a shortcut…a way to compromise and thus circumvent God’s plan.  So anytime our own impatience tempts us to not wait but instead run ahead of God…we’re playing right into the same scheme.  Now none of us like to wait…we all want immediate gratification, so when offered a shortcut, we usually take it.  But within that shortcut can hide compromise, risk, and loss.   I Corinthians 15:58 encourages us to, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”  In God’s perfect plan there are no shortcuts, and even though we may feel impatient when waiting on the Lord…we are to stand firm, fully committed and trusting in Him.

Psalm 36:7 ” How priceless is Your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of Your wings.”

God’s merciful kindness is afforded to all.  Whether great or small…prince or pauper…wealthy or poor,  we can all seek protection and refuge in Him.  And by trusting in God and experiencing His love first hand, His faithfulness will become our shield and rampart in times of trouble. (Psalm 91:4)  For God’s love for us is beyond measure and beyond comprehension…and it’s available for all.

Habakkuk 3:17-18 ” Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vine, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

Habakkuk is asking, “Where are You God? And why aren’t You doing something about this situation?  Our most basic needs aren’t being met.  Don’t You care about us?”  This is a very common response when anyone is in the midst of troubles…our vision is very myopic, only seeing what’s right in front of us, not any further.  But it’s not until we can look beyond and see God’s “Big Picture” that we, like Habakkuk, can say, “In spite of what I see around me…regardless of this present situation, I will put my trust in You God!  I will place my faith in You for I know You will provide.”

Lamentations 3:40-42 ” Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say: ‘We have sinned and rebelled…’ “

Admitting we’re wrong and asking forgiveness is hard to do.  And when it comes to acknowledging our sin before God it gets even tougher.  It’s not that we’re deliberately rebelling against Him…of blatantly and conspicuously sinning for all to see.  No, it’s rather sins by omission that really mess us up.  These are secret sins that are easy to hide…things that only we may know about.  These sins of omission are things neglected and left undone in our lives…like regular time in the Word, or prayer.  Or they’re things we chose to turn a blind eye to…knowing the Lord wants us to act,  but choosing to be apathetic instead.  These sins of omission are disobedience at its best and need to be dealt with, for as time goes on, it becomes easier and easier to allow these sins to hide in our sub-conscience and justify them rather than admit they are wrong.

Hebrews 11: 1 ” Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

I encourage you to read the entire 11th Chapter of Hebrews, for in it you will read of many kinds and shades of faith.  Faith is an ongoing lifetime journey of trusting God.  It’s a way of life, not just a one time action done at conversion.  Our faith grows as we grow in Christ…confidence in Him is forged and built  every time we make the decision to trust Him.  But as you read through Chapter 11 you’ll see the different nuances of faith shown… there’s expanding and growing faith, there’s  beyond logic and reasoning faith, there’s sacrificial, persecuted, and impossible faith.  Our life of faith begins with an internal response, which leads to  faith-filled action.  From there, it’s a life based on God’s promises…not on circumstances.  Though, when you get to the end of this chapter you’ll read, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.”   Every person you read about here in Chapter 11 was praised for their faith, yet not one saw their promise fulfilled in their lifetime. Instead, they all persevered under pressure, never giving up, and always putting their confidence in their Lord.