Standing Firm in the Storm
Verse 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
After talking about our lack of patience in our time together yesterday, we continue talking about the standing firm of patience.
Impatience can show itself in the form of worry. We worry we are going to be late for work if we can’t get around the slow car in front of us. Or we worry that our ice cream will melt if the person in front of us in the check-out lane won’t stop socializing with the cashier. While in the big scheme of things neither of these is usually life changing, they do make us antsy.
James told his readers in today’s key verse that they should be patient and stand firm. Why would he put those two things together? Remember that he is saying that we must be patient for the coming of the Lord and it is this same topic that we should be standing firm about. Standing firm means that we aren’t getting wrapped up in the toils of this earth. It also means that we are standing firm for Christ and His statutes.
Standing for Christ and His Church will get increasingly unpopular as the day of the Lord nears. We can be sure that we will know what it means to be hated and that is why we are given this reminder to stand firm. It will be easier and easier to compromise here and there to maintain friends and other things we have come to depend on in this life, maybe even our jobs. The need to have a solid footing on what we believe will become more and more necessary.
A firm footing isn’t something that one waits to set in place. If at the beach we don’t wait until the large wave is pushing us over before trying to gain a firm foothold to stay upright. We can’t wait until it looks like divorce is imminent before we try working to better our marriage. This is the firm footing that James is trying to get his readers to see is needed in their faith lives.
We need this firm footing just as much as they did in James’ day. We need to be intentional about knowing what we believe and why. This is the way that we can stand firm when the ground beneath us starts shifting. What we learn to stand firm in today will help us learn what to stand firm in tomorrow. Jesus said that those that hear His teachings and obey them are like a wise man who builds his house on the firm footing of rock (Matthew 7:24). Jesus is our solid Rock and we will have firm footing when we stand firm on Him and His teachings.
Making It Personal
Where is a place in your life where you don’t stand firm? Why do you think it is difficult for you to stand firm about that? What do you need to take a stand about today?
Making It Personal Kids
What is something that Jesus taught that you struggle to obey? Why is it important to obey so that you can stand for Jesus? What will you obey Jesus about today?
Father, we know that we need to stand firm and we see now that it takes obeying Your teachings. Give us the wisdom we need to obey You so that we can stand firm. In Jesus’ name, amen.