Philippians 4:1. Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
Paul moves us from press on (day 280) to stand firm. Together these are the two daily postures of the believer in Christ. In Christ we are running from standing. Striving from resting. Gaining from grace. Working out from worked in.
Once when my son was very little we lost him in one of those big warehouse stores. He was supposed to stand firm right next to us, but when we looked up he was gone. Let me assure you that I didn’t wait for him to find us I went looking for him, hoping he would stand still somewhere until I got there. Like a lost little boy waiting to be found, we stand still waiting for our Savior King to come and get us. So don’t move. Stand firm. He’s on the way! Don’t wander around, you’ll only feel more lost.
And when Jesus comes back everything (and I mean everything) will be made right again. Whatever is hanging over your head today. Whatever fear. Whatever disgrace. Whatever temptation. Whatever sorrow. It will all be made subject to the transforming love of Jesus. Our lowly bodies will be like his glorious body. Like our spirit is now, our body will be transformed resulting in a soul that is living in the love and light of God forever.
But until that day of Christ’s return many things will compete for your heart and mind. Lesser hopes promise a firm foundation, and yet in time they all fail and fade away. Successes and failures. Joys and sorrows. Triumphs and tragedies. Each is used by the Enemy to cause us to wander around looking for something to tether our lives to. But Jesus says, “Stand firm, I’m coming for you, and I am with you. You are IN THE LORD! Stand firm IN ME!”
But how do we stand firm? What does this standing firm look like?
Philippians 4:4-7. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Standing firm looks like rejoicing.
When our joy is no longer linked to our circumstances or our condition, but is found in our position in Christ, it will result in rejoicing no matter how hard life gets.
Standing firm looks like reasonableness.
When we are standing in the hope of Christ’s return there’s no need to fight for our own way if Jesus’ way is alive in our hearts.
Standing firm does not look like anxiety.
Paul is talking about situational worries here. The situational anxiety that increases as we fail to stand in the hope of the ruling, reigning, and returning king of the universe.
Standing firm looks like prayer and thanksgiving.
Because apart from Christ I can do nothing, I will pray. And because through me Christ does everything, I will give thanks.
Standing firm looks like peace.
The peace of God beyond all human understanding guards our hearts and minds IN Christ. Knowing we have a secure future with our God keeps us from spiraling into despair or apathy. Nothing is a “big deal,” and nothing is “no big deal.” Everything is what it is. And Christ rules it all. That’s peace.
“To live is Christ” is to stand firm in the life altering hope of his glorious return for us one day. A future hope that allows us to respond to our present reality with all faith, hope, love, joy, and peace.
What are you standing firm in today?
You in Christ
How does knowing that we are in Christ allow us to stand firm in his return for us?
Christ in you
Where in your life do you need to stand firm today?
Playlist: Stand Firm.
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