BE STEADFAST IN THE LORD

Isaiah 61:3 ….”He has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

The scene:  An oak tree, standing mightily  in front of a great stone wall– a symbol of God’s people, true believers in Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. These  not only believe, but have put their full trust in the Lord. The oak represents mature Christians; the stone wall behind the oak tree is a symbol that God stands behind them as divine protector and  refuge.

Psalm 112:6-7  Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. The word steadfast means “fixed”  like a mighty oak tree.

Hold fast to God’s truths, believe that whatever God has revealed is infallible and true.  Like soldiers in combat, when the command comes to “fix bayonets” the soldier knows he must stand against the enemy, be courageous, because he knows the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy (see John 10:10) but God assures us the enemy is already defeated. It was through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that  victory over sin and death has been won for all time.

1 Peter 5:8-9  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering.

Remember the suffering Church in your daily prayers that they, too, will stand and be courageous, without fear before their enemies and will receive mercy.

Copyright 2016 Larry and Kathy Helms

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