Still Standing

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. – Romans 5:3-5.

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. – 1 Corinthians 15:58.

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. – Hebrews 12:3.

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. – Isaiah 26:3.

We have had the bricks replaced on our church that were blown off by the tornado last year on May 5th. The brick work was finally finished only about a week ago. I have noticed that there are some imperfections in the brick work; not many, but there are some. In addition, the steeple that we had repaired and that is now back up on top of our church building is not perfect either. I told everyone then when the steeple was reinstalled and I think the same is true with the brick work – we need to remember that the building has been through a tornado. Our building has taken some hits but it is still standing. The imperfections have in a way given the building greater character and are a reminder of how close it came to total destruction on that night back in May. It is a reminder too of God’s protection because many lives could have been lost in our community but none were.

In our church and community we have had some unexpected tragedies affecting us over the last few weeks. You could say that we have taken some hits during these weeks. There is nothing easy about going through the unexpected death of a loved one or of a friend. Most Christians if they have been Christians for very long know what I am talking about. You’ve taken some hits too but hopefully you’re still standing.

The apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans indicates that those hits that we sometimes take can be used by God to develop our character. Life has a way of hitting us hard at times. When we are unexpectedly dealt a harsh blow in life what should be our response? How do we keep on going when bad things are happening? Paul tells us that we need to “stand firm” and that we should “let nothing move you.” What does that mean? Paul is saying that no matter what bad, tragic thing may happen to you – do not let it reduce your fervor for the Lord. Paul goes on to say, “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord.” The apostle Paul knew whereof he was talking about because he had taken more than his share of hits too, but he was still standing firm for the Lord and we need to do the same.

There is one very important thing or should I say person that will help us make it through the difficult times. Isaiah tells us that God will keep you in perfect peace if your “mind is stayed” on Him “because” you “trust in” Him. The writer of Hebrews makes this even more clear as he says, “consider Him (Jesus) who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” We must focus in upon our Lord Jesus Christ. We must take our minds and hearts off of the bad thing or things that have happened or is happening and instead think about Jesus. Reading the Bible, memorizing Scripture verses, meditating upon Scripture, praying, attending church, and serving the Lord with your life will all help you to focus in upon Jesus. When you do that you will find that you have “perfect peace” and that you are still standing, “standing firm” in your faith.

(When you are facing great adversity how do you keep standing?)

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