I have been thinking a lot lately about the subject of endurance, steadfastness, perseverance, “Holding On”. When I’m asked to speak on a topic of my choice, it’s usually been on this subject. There’s something else I’ve noticed about myself of late: I have been humming the tune of a song put out some years ago by the Sounds of Blackness titled, “Hold On, Change is Coming.”
It is a rather catchy tune. They even did a cut with Roger Troutman and his talk box. You can check it out here. I know within minutes you will be bobbing your head and snapping your fingers. I can almost guarantee you’ll be humming the tune for several days.
Since I was only familiar with the song’s hook, I looked up the lyrics and to my surprise, there was not too much counsel on how, what or whom one should hold on to. I am not criticizing the song; I like it. But alas, it just did not fill in the blanks.
It is my hope with this series of posts to fill in some blanks, share some essentials for persevering, enduring, remaining steadfast and “Holding On” in the faith. What I write will not be new or innovative; you have probably heard them before. According to Peter we sometimes need to be stirred up by way of reminder (cf. 2 Peter 1:13). The longer I live I’m finding a good portion my ministry is spent on reminding Christians and my own heart of the basics.
Who’s Holding Who?
One of the most encouraging truths about “holding on” is to know the Lord is “holding on” to us. Even as I typed those words, my heart filled with worship. There is another older song that says “Hold To God’s Unchanging Hand.” But the truth of the matter is, God is holding us with His unchanging hand. It is amazing to me when I, at times, for a variety of reasons, lose my grip, the Lord Who never lets go is holding on to me. The scripture is replete with passages teaching us about our Lord Who holds on to us. Here’s a sampling:
The steps of a man are established by the Lord when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand. (Psalm 37:23–24)
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (John 10:27–29)
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:23–24)
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24–25)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3–5)
The only reason we are able to “Hold On” is the powerful and faithful hand of the Lord is holding on to us. Jesus assures of the Lord’s holding power in John 6:39, And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
One expositor from bygone years put it like this:
“God does not merely initiate the work and then leave it, he continues with it; he leads us on, directing and manipulating our circumstances, restraining us at one time and urging us on at another” (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones).
Lay Hold of Him Who’s Holding You
Do you at times feel your hand slipping away from the Lord’s hand? Is this a season where you feel spiritually tired and sense your grip is just not quite as strong as it once was? Or perhaps you sense you have let go. You didn’t really want to, but like the drifting the writer to the Hebrews refers to (Heb. 2:1), you have kind of floated away from the Lord and cannot find your way back.
Well, let this truth set your compass in the right direction. Jesus loses no one the Father has given to Him. Although it might not feel like it now, you are firm in the Master’s hand. Even though you think you have let go, He has not. You can hold on because He is “Holding On”.
Now, pull up the Sounds of Blackness with Roger Troutman singing “Hold On” and let the above passages of Scripture resonate in your heart. You’ll want to chop it up about this, C’mon up on the porch and sit a spell.