Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Thursday Thoughts: Stand Fast

Paul writes to the church in Philippi whom he had a special feeling for them and for their service to him. At the conclusion of that letter he makes some comments in the first nine verses of chapter 4 that have value to all of God’s people. Paul loved the Philippians and encouraged them to “stand fast” in the first verse.

Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

Philippians 4:1 (NKJV)

The idea of standing fast is that of continuing to live the Christian life and not to give up on your faith. Stand fast in what you have been taught and in what you believe and do not change your stand just because someone else tells you something else. Paul warns the Ephesians of this very thing in Eph. 4:14.

that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting

Ephesians 4:14 (NKJV)

If we are standing fast we will not be carried away with every new doctrine that someone comes up with. People have always thought that they knew a better way to serve God than the way God provided in His word. Paul said that we should stand fast in the gospel.

Paul continues on in the next few verses and tells them how they should be and how they should stand fast.  He states in verse 2 that they should be united.

I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.

Philippians 4:2 (NKJV)

We cannot be united and of the same mind if we are not standing fast in the gospel of Christ. Paul wanted these brethren that he loved to be bound together in Christ. To be united in the teachings that they had received through Paul by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We should learn from these words of Paul and be united in Christ and not be moved around with every wind of doctrine because someone else said that we should.

In verse 3 Paul says that we can help each other stand fast if we support each other and help each other through hard times.

And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.

Philippians 4:3 (NKJV)

There are times when the pressure to change is so great that we need help from our family to get us through. The grass always looks greener on the other side if we are not grounded firmly in God’s word. God tells us that His ways are not our ways. There are times that we think that we know a better way to serve God than the way He has provided in His word. We should trust that God knows best. Just because something pleases us does not mean that it will please God. We need to help each other when our faith is being tested.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV)

In verse 4 Paul tells us to rejoice. Our life as Christians should be one of rejoicing. God has sent His Son to die on the cross and pay a debt that we owe. There is no greater reason to rejoice. If we want to stand fast we should be thankful for what God has done for us. How could we ever look for something different knowing what God has done for us?

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Philippians 4:4 (NKJV)

He tells us in verse 5 that we should be gentle or kind to all men. If we are standing fast and being what God wants us to be, we should always treat all men with kindness. We would not do anything that would hurt a brother or cause him to stumble.

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Philippians 4:5 (NKJV)

In verses 6 and 7 Paul tells them to trust God with everything. He talks about prayer and thanksgiving as a way to have peace in God. We can’t put our trust in ourselves or in others. If we stand fast we will put our trust in God who is able to do all things.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

In verse 8 Paul says finally, brethren, think on these things. Paul says that we should control our thoughts. This is one of the blessings that we have from God, the ability to think and have control over what we think about. Paul encourages them to think about things that are good and pure and they will help us stand fast. What kind of things do you think of everyday?

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.

Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

Paul concludes these 9 verses and his encouragement to stand fast by telling them to do the things that they had learned and received and heard and saw in his teaching and in his manner of life.

The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:9 (NKJV)

Paul tells these beloved brethren as he closes this book to stand fast in their faith, to be united, supporting each other, rejoicing in the Lord, being kind to all men, trusting God with everything, filling their minds with things that were good and to follow Paul’s example. If they would do these things and if we would do these things we can stand fast in Christ. When the Lord returns will He find you standing fast?

– Don Davenport

 

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