The fundamental question here is where are you placing your trust today? If it’s in yourself, or the things of the world… you’re headed for disappointment. For you can’t place your confidence in shifting sand and expect to come out all right. But maybe you’re in a difficult place right now and declaring God’s sovereignty over your life is near impossible. May I remind you of Micah 7:8, “Don’t gloat over me, my enemy! Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” Our trust in God isn’t dependent on the situation we’re in, the severity of the circumstances, or even on how we feel in the moment. Our faith in God is activated, increased, and strengthened every time we decree and affirm His Name.
The Apostle Paul could be writing these Scriptures to us today…Dear friends, stand firm and let nothing move you. For it is only by the Lord’s help that we can choose faith over fear, peace over panic, and worship over worry. Paul goes on to exhort us to look beyond ourselves and serve others. For just because we’re facing difficult times doesn’t mean what God has called us to do is now exempt, futile, or pointless in His eyes. Quite the opposite! Earlier in this Chapter, Paul writes that we are God’s fellow workers, (I Corinthians 3:9) and nothing we do in His Name will ever be insignificant, unimportant, or unworthy of the calling. Be the hands and feet of Jesus to a lost and dying world today and make a difference!
Very rarely will God take us completely out of the trial or battle we’re in…but why? Wouldn’t a loving Heavenly Father want to deliver His children from all the ugliness – the disease, sickness, and death – of the world? Yet so often we will find ourselves in the thick of a trial or battle and wonder why is God allowing this? There’s a couple of reasons God has positioned us there. I Samuel 12:16 says, “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes.” In many places in the Bible, including this verse, God promises He will fight the battle for us. (Exodus 14:14, Deuteronomy 1:30, Nehemiah 4:20, I Samuel 17:47) But He doesn’t want us to watch from the sidelines…He will take us into the middle of the battle, to stand still, and watch. For it’s only from this unique vantage point that we’ll be able to experience and then understand what He’s doing.
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.
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.
It tells us here to stand fast against the enemy, but unless you’ve prepared for battle ahead of time, the enemy will have you for lunch. The belt of truth is that solid foundation of doctrinal knowledge of God’s Word…It’s His unshakable, unchangeable, everlasting truth that we need to gird our heart, soul, and mind with. Our belt of truth also holds all our weapons in place around our waist… weapons that are always at the ready. Finally, this belt of truth girds us with the power and authority of Jesus Christ to stand firm against anything the enemy throws at us.
You’ve all heard, bad things happen to good people…and it’s not “if” but “when” trouble will come your way. And just because you call yourself a Christian doesn’t mean you’ll somehow be insulated from the evil in this world. For in your lifetime you will have sickness, setbacks, and loss…there’s no getting around it…for we all live in a very broken world. But it’s how you react and face each trouble that will make all the difference. With God you have the ability to stand your ground when evil comes your way. II Corinthians 6:7 tells us, “…in the power of God; with weapons in the right hand and in the left.” You can stand and face down anything the world throws at you with God’s Word… His truth in one hand, and His promises in the other. We don’t have to live in fear of tomorrow. For we have weapons to extinguish all those fiery darts thrown our way. We can then stand firm in the power of God…faithful not fearful, confident not cowering, trusting not trembling.
What a wonderful promise is within this verse. For there’s assurance and hope that as we persevere with faith…as we stand firm to the end, we will be saved. But the world doesn’t understand this faith and trust Christians have in Jesus. For it says in John 15:21, “They will treat you this way because of My name, for they don’t know the One who sent Me.” For Believers though, knowing the Lord, is loving Him…loving Him, is putting our trust in Him…for we know trusting Him to the end will never disappoint.
Here Paul was warning about idolatry and falling into temptation. Probably the most conceited thought a Christian can have is, “That couldn’t ever happen to me!” It’s when you think your “beyond” being tempted…that it’ll sneak up behind and bite you. I’m sorry, but no one is immune to temptation and smugly thinking you are above it is only setting yourself up to fail. We all need to be on guard and wary…for our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8)
You don’t need to fight those battles alone. You don’t have to stand unaided in front of the enemy of this world defenseless and vulnerable. The Lord tells us very specifically in this scripture what our role should be in battle. We are to stand our ground and commit ourselves to trusting God. We are to hold our ground, not wavering in our belief that God is in control and fighting on our behalf. Finally, we are to watch as the Lord works… giving us the victory.