Standing Fast in the Lord
What goes through your mind when things in life don’t go the way you want?
How do you respond when the institutions of the world deal you a blow?
Life seems always to have its ups and downs. At least to me it seems to work that way. Just when everything seems to be moving along smoothly and I see the light at the end of the tunnel, the curtain seems to fall. Sometime this is caused by my own decisions and expectations, but sometimes it is just the way the world goes around.
Take for example the move of TFL to our new space. Everything was moving along and on Friday I was expecting to get a message that our building permit had been approved and we were ready to move forward. After all, just on Thursday, we had responded to the permit granting person with responses to the three questions he presented to us. Then on Friday these questions were not the issue; rather, some obscure zoning change came to light that led this person to say he could not grant the permit.
Now, this is not the end of the story since we will file for a special permit, but that is another story. What I want to discuss now is how we should respond when we here such new and see such setbacks to our plans.
We tend to give a lot of lip service regarding our trust in God. But how often do we really trust Him. When the matters of life are going well, we claim to be placing our trust in Him. When things don’t go so well, then we are much less willing to trust in God.
So often, when things do not go the way we want them to we fall back to the old standard—trust in our own strength and ingenuity and we put our hope in man. To do so is actually cursed by God. Jeremiah 17:5-6 says,
“Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited.” (NKJV)
We must come to the point in our lives where we actually live such that our sufficiency is not of ourselves, but our sufficiency must be from God (2 Cor 3:5). Only then can we live in stability before God.
When life situations go awry, we need to remember the truth of the Bible. Paul says in 2 Thes 2:15, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” We are to stand fast and hold to the instructions that were given through oral teaching and the written word.
This verse is introduced by the “therefore” as a way of leading us to a conclusion. 2 Thes 2:13-14 tells us we should stand fast because God chose us for salvation and set us apart by His Spirit and by our belief in the truth. What a wonderful gift from God. We were called by the Gospel so that we would obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The concept of begin stable in our relationship with God is presented throughout the Bible. Christian stability is the state of being in a firm or unwavering situation, whether emotional, political or personal. Stability is an important element of a settled life before God. Events such as what TFL is going through to move to a more permanent location presents each of us with an opportunity to stand firm and unwavering in our trust of God.
We have been praying for leading us into a facility. We have promised God that we would follow His will. We are prepared to spread the gospel, to disciple others, and to develop leaders. If God does not put us in this facility, He will have a different one in mind for us. Don’t get me wrong. Dr. Larry Moyer gives two important principles for applying in our life situations. He says 1) work as if everything depends on you because it does and 2) pray as if everything depend on God because it does.
We can identify four aspects regarding stability.
Stability for the believer is based on God’s unchanging nature. God is a Rock and His work is perfect. All of His ways are justice. God is 100% truth (Deut 32:4). God established His throne in heaven and He rules over all there is (Ps 103:19). We can trust in God because God never changes.
Stability gives the believer courage and strength. By keeping our focus on God and by always standing fast in our faith we can be brave and we can be strong (1 Cor 16:13). In addition, when Christ comes again He promises us that we will be holy, blameless, and above reproach before Him if we continue in faith and remain grounded and steadfast (Col 1:22-23).
Stability depends upon the firmness of the believer’s faith. We have reason to rejoice in the steadfastness of our faith in Christ. By faith, we received Christ Jesus the Lord. We must now walk in Hi and be rooted and built up in Him. Our desire must be to be established in the faith as taught in the Bible so that we can abound in thanksgiving (Col 2:5-7). All of this depends on our complete commitment to the full truth found only in God.
Stability is an important aim of Christian ministry. We should no longer be immature and we should help others move toward maturity in Christ. Too many in the church today are tossed to and from and carried about with every wind of doctrine (Eph 4:14). The church, especially in our culture, is fooled by the trickery of men and the cunning craftiness of their deceitful plotting. At TFL we are committed to staying true to God’s word. Our aim is to speak the truth in love so that all may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ (Eph 4:15).
Our goal at TFL
At TFL we must trust God for our ministry. Regardless of how this property deal turns out, our mission is clear. Preach the word! If that means the space we are currently looking at or some other space, we must trust that God will lead us along the way. In the meanwhile we must stand fast in our faith.
One of my key life verses is 1 Cor 15:58. It says, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
Are you also willing to be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord?