God’s Word is filled with specific promises to those who stand—promises of blessings, eternal rewards, and everlasting life. Jesus summed up the promises with these words: “You will win life.” The battles we face are not in vain. Our fight to overcome sin is not futile. The struggle to hold fast to faith in the midst of trials is not pointless, because great honor and blessings await those who stand firm.
I don’t know about you, but I need this word of encouragement. From watching persecution increase across the globe to seeing Christians falling into sin at unprecedented rates, I can’t turn on the television or tune into social media without seeing the church (in all its forms) taking a serious beating. In the past few years, I’ve felt that darkness has not only increased but also seems to be winning. Christian values are mocked, and those who hold them are maligned.
When I look at the world with my natural eyes, it’s easy to cave in to fear and feel discouraged, lose hope, and question the promises of God. It seems as though Christ followers are down for the count and the Enemy is doing a victory dance in the end zone. Call me competitive, but I don’t relish the idea of being on the losing end of anything. When I see depravity escalating or suffering mounting, I find myself, much like the disciples, wide-eyed and wondering what Jesus is up to. At those times, when I’m tempted to wave the white flag and just call it a day, I find myself fighting for hope.
Hope. What a beautiful word and desperately needed reality for Christ followers. Hope moves beyond intellectual belief. It’s supernatural faith that takes spiritually weak muscles paralyzed with fear and doubt and gives them the miraculous ability to stand. Hope perseveres even when it seems that all is lost in the natural realm.
Here’s the thing: I know the end of the story. Our Enemy is defeated and Jesus wins. The Bible is crystal clear on this fact. But on those dark days, when it seems like we’re on the losing team, I find myself asking, “What do we do, Lord?” Turning to His Word, I discover the answer: we stand.
Please hear me: this isn’t a simple Christian cliché worthy of bumper-sticker status. Jesus gave us the word stand as an answer to our struggles, fears, and battles. How do we as Christ followers press on toward victory in this age of rampant temptations, persecutions, and accusations? How do we remain steadfast when our hearts are broken wide open with grief and the Enemy chooses those moments to mock our faith in God? How do we respond when we are called names for our biblical convictions? How do we react to the injustices we see in the world? How do we resist the pressure to conform morally? How do we get back up when we’ve fallen?