‘Life Workings’ Meditations No.30: Stand Firm
Eph 6:13 “you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
And so we arrive at the final consideration of this series that has been looking at various facets of how life works, the life we reminded ourselves in the previous study, that is designed by God, and which doesn’t work properly when we abandon His design.
‘Putting on the whole armour of God’ was Paul’s way of saying, make sure you have everything that God has provided so you can cope with the tough times. Jesus said coping with the tough times came by obeying his words (Mt 7:24). Both were saying that learning how life works and learning how to handle it, is pretty obvious. It is God’s world so live in it His way and with His resources.
That’s not a bad motto to stick on the fridge! We need these reminders when times are dark and uncertain AND when they’re going well. We need to remind ourselves of these two things, we need to learn to stand strong in BOTH situations.
It perhaps seems fairly obvious that we need to talk about standing firm in the face of the upsets of life when it doesn’t seem to be working properly (such as during the Covid Pandemic) and we may feel down. In those times we speak about taking hold of the grace of God to cope with the negatives, with the darkness around us. But those negatives may also include problems coping with other people, especially when they are speaking against us or specifically acting against us, what we call persecution. Again the grace of God is needed to cope with it in a Christlike manner (see Mt 5:44).
But then there is the time when everything is going well, we are prosperous, feeling strong and healthy, the weather is good, the business is prospering, and the kids are doing well at school! i.e. life is good! Deut 8:10-18 is a most significant warning to Israel before they entered the Promised Land that basically could be summed up, “When you get in the land and are prosperous and all is going well, don’t become complacent and forget the Lord but remember all this is a gift from Him.” I have been able to watch a part of my family that the Lord has blessed with a good job that brings a big income and they live in a part of the world that has a great climate much of the year and their biggest danger is complacency, the danger of taking everything (that IS good!) for granted and failing to be thankful. So there we are in the potentially wonderful world, on a bad day struggling with the aspects of a fallen world, and on a good day struggling not to be ungrateful and complacent. Yes, life is a balancing act, but His grace IS there to help us – always! Enjoy the wonder.