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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Strong in the Lord: Stand Your Ground

by Marilynn Chadwick

Resist him, standing firm in the faith... (1 Peter 5:9 NIV). 

A man who had just returned from visiting members of the underground church in China was asked how the believers were able to cope with continued trials. "These brothers and sisters know this is not the end of the story," he explained. "They expect God's glory to come at the end of their trial. And they do believe the trial will end in victory." No wonder the Chinese church is often referred to as “the joy force.”

Are you going through a trial in your life today? Peter invites us to stand strong against the devil: “Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering” (1 Peter 5:9 NRSV).

We’ve looked at several ways God makes us strong. He helps us stand our ground through his Word, prayer, and joining forces with other believers. Often, our strength grows during times of weakness—especially during seasons of suffering.

Life can be hard. It's not like Jesus didn't warn us. "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!" he reminds us, "I have overcome the world" (John 16:33 NIV). I need to stay connected to Jesus if I hope to stay strong in the spiritual fight.

To stand one's ground during trouble is to endure. Endurance is a special kind of spiritual strength. Hypomeno, comes from two words: hypo or "under", and meno, "to remain." To endure is to "remain under" a painful trial. It's bearing up under a load of trouble with a tranquil mind. Meno is the same word Jesus uses when he tells us to “abide” in him (John 15:7). Endurance is an important weapon in the arsenal we're building to grow strong in the Lord.

Will you be able to stand your ground when trouble hits? Remember, you can't endure apart from Jesus, so abide in him daily. Rely on the Holy Spirit. Stay filled up with God's Word. Pray always. And don't travel alone. Here’s a special reminder to help you stay strong: If you don't abide in the light, you can't endure in the dark. 

“Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4 AMP).

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