We’re in a war, not on a picnic. Sometimes I forget that. These Scriptures help me remember.
“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then…” (Eph. 6:11,13,14). The call is to a posture of war, of resistance. Armor is defensive. Some might think that we are to attack. We are called to stand, used 4 times. Then we pray, the offensive side of war.
“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” (I Cor. 15:58). What could move you? “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love” (I Corinthians 16:13). Being on your guard means staying alert, not falling asleep. Love and courage are siblings. If you want to grow in courage, grow in love.
“Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering” (Hebrews 10:32). Standing is hardest when suffering is greatest. Suffering builds endurance—or it takes us out. Suffering refines us and frees us from sin (I Peter 1:7; I Peter 4:1) or it brings discouragement and despair. Discouragement is a luxury we dare not entertain if we’re here for others.
“You too be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near” (James 5:7-11). Hope enables us to stand. We can endure the present if we know the future is good. “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12). God gives rewards to those who endure in the face of trials. When you suffer, look forward, not backward. It will enable you to pass the test. Lot’s wife looked back—and lost big.
“It is by faith you stand” (2 Cor. 1:24). We need faith, not just will-power and guts. “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you” (2 Thess. 2:15). Truth helps us to stand. When we abandon truth, we lose our position. What we believe is more important than what we feel. We are looking for truth, not for experience.That will come–with truth!
“He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured” (Col. 4:12). It is good to pray that our friends will stand. Some will not. We stand firm in prayer so others stand firm in life. “I have written to you briefly…that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it” (I Peter 5:12). We stand in the truth, by faith and through grace, which empowers us to obey.
“Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (I Peter 5:9). We take a posture of resistance. We have determined that we will stand. God is not picking on us; everyone goes through all kinds of suffering. No one is exempt, not even the Son of God. You are not a victim. Stand!