What Are We To Do?
We are almost through the first week of 2022! We have no idea what lies before us in the coming year, but we can be sure about one thing. Our God is still the reigning King with an indefinite, or should I say everlasting term! No doubt, we will continue dealing with our ongoing challenges, and be faced with new challenges. Some of these new challenges will just drop in our laps and some will give us some warning signs. Throughout Scripture, whenever God’s people were faced with situations that seem daunting or impossible to bare, His counsel has always been the same, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Stand Firm. Before Joshua led the nation of Israel into the promised land, Moses instructed them with words from God; “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6.
The apostle Paul instructed the believers of the early church in many of his epistles to stand firm in their faith.
Ephesians 6:10-11, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
Philippians 1:27, Only let your manner of life be worthy of the Gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one Spirit with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the Gospel and not frightened in anything by your opponents.”
1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”
When we get blind-sided with a change in our health, these instruction are relevant, Stand firm in our faith!. When our financial situation seems gloomy and we have more bills than income, Stand firm in our faith! As relationships with our relatives and friends get upended, Stand firm in our faith! If the situation with the pandemic continues or even gets worse, Stand firm in our faith! There is nothing that this world can throw our way that we need to fret and worry about, if we truly stand firm in our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. If things seem overbearing and out of control, we can give it to God and let Him deal with it according to His will and plan. If things just seem a little difficult and cumbersome, I still say, stand firm in our faith and give it to God and trust Him to provide the best solution. And if we are faced with little things that we can fix or handle, stand firm in our faith while we take care of them in the strength of the Lord and not in our own wisdom, power or strength. So the point is to Stand firm in the faith continuously throughout our day and never forget that it really is God who directs our paths, which can be straighter and smoother when we put our faith and trust in him.
While writing this article, I noticed that standing firm seems to be a defensive tactic. Military leaders often say, “The best defense is a good offense!” I consider myself a proactive person and like to take action, be on the offense so to speak. What does the Bible say about taking action and being proactive. It gives us a lot of instruction on how to do just that. So here are some things that we should be doing in an offensive posture.
Matthew 5:43-48, “You have heard that it was said, ‘you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, 'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as you heavenly Father is perfect.”
When we find ourselves dealing with difficult people or those who want to cause you harm, hit them right back with love. Love as Christ has loved us. Then right after you hit them with Christ-like love, come right back with an explanation of why you respond in the way you do and how God and the Holy Spirit gives us that ability and eventually explain how they can learn to respond in the same way even when it makes no sense to them.
Like I stated up front, we don’t know what we will get faced with, but we do know how we can respond to whatever comes our way. Stand firm in your faith, Be strong and courageous, then Love as Christ loves.
Have a blessed and joyous 2022!