Stand Firm

Life’s unexpected challenges often knock us off our feet. We trip, we stumble, we land facedown on the concrete with our faces bruised and our nose bleeding.

I’m so glad the Lord’s tender hands are quick to comfort and mighty to save, and He is faithful to gently pick us back up and set us back on our feet so we can find healing and strength to keep walking.

Scripture offers us guidance for dealing with the less-unexpected challenges we face by assuming a strong posture to stand firm.

Stand firm when you’re afraid.

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. I will trust in you and not be afraid. Psalm 56:3-4

When a threat or danger comes, the “fight or flight” response compels us to either stay and fight against it or make a quick move to run away from it. When we trust God with those threats and dangers, we can stand firm and let Him do the fighting for us. A friend shared with me she likens standing firm to having a block of cement poured around our feet that gives us extra strength to stay standing, holding our feet secure, keeping us from running away or falling over. We can stand knowing God is in control- and as He holds us, He holds all the circumstances around us.

Stand firm when you’re angry.

Most of us have lots of reasons to be angry. Anger rears its head when others disappoint and frustrate us, or when we disappoint and frustrate ourselves, or when life in general disappoints and frustrates us. The challenge is what we do with that anger.

The fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.  Proverbs 29:11

Faith and the fruit of the Holy Spirit living in us give peace “that surpasses understanding” (Philippians 4:7). Cling to the peace as you allow God to address the issues that bring anger inside. He will never disappoint.

Stand firm when you’re ashamed.

The weight of all our sin can rest heavy on us. We can carry the burdens of our past and cast our eyes low to the ground, missing the forgiveness and hope and reconciliation Jesus brought. We can slouch in our sin or stand on the promises of the Cross. Jesus calls us to “cast all our cares upon Him” (1 Peter 5:7). He came to take the weight and burden of our sin so we can stand upright in freedom with our eyes lifted and fixed on Him.

The LORD turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:1-2

Stand firm when you’re attacked.

When we are attacked, standing firm can seem near impossible. We often want to attack back- striking out in retaliation. We can be attacked by lies and accusations we want to defend, or by people we want to defeat. And when the attack involves our children- beware of Mama Bear!  Standing firm means standing on truth, responding with confidence and grace, and confidently trusting the results to God. We can learn from Jesus when He was attacked before His crucifixion. Several times he remained silent- and other times he spoke gently but truthfully, not in retaliation. Jesus spoke in a way that respected those in authority, but also acknowledged the One who ultimately was in authority over them all.

Standing firm is not cowering over in fear, slouching down in shame, fretting to and fro in stress, lashing out in anger, or puffing up in pride. It’s simply having the strength and peace that God has you in His hands and His Spirit is strengthening you from within.

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.  He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword.  Deuteronomy 33:27-29

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13.

Josh Baldwin sings these strong words about standing firm:

When darkness tries to roll over my bones

When sorrow comes to steal the joy I own

When brokenness and pain is all I know

I won’t be shaken.

Shame no longer has a place to hide

And I am not a captive to the lies

I’m not afraid to leave my past behind

I won’t be shaken.

There’s power that can break off every chain

There’s power that can empty out a grave

There’s resurrection power that can save

There’s power in your name. Power in your name.

My fear doesn’t stand a chance, when I stand in your love.           

My fear doesn’t stand a chance, when I stand in your love.

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