“Stand Fast in the Lord”

By J. L. Leifeste

Philippians 4:1

Mankind looks back through history and applauds people who accomplished mighty deeds, especially when they did so with determination and against significant odds. Even today, people who succeed in great endeavors are often awarded certificates, plaques, trophies, and medals. And maybe their names will be mentioned in history books. These recognitions are some of the ways of the world.

The words “stand fast” give an important message that is found throughout the Bible. However, to us as followers of Christ, it has special emphasis in the New Testament. The message is one of faithfulness. The Christian must persist in godliness and truth. The Christian must not surrender or retreat when beset by evil.

As both physical and spiritual beings, we are concerned with both the physical and the spiritual world. In the physical world, any perseverance that produces impressive works is highly regarded. Yet, in the spiritual world, persevering is more important.


Sadly, persecution and oppression are also ways of the world. Followers of Christ must “stand fast” facing the adversity that others will heap upon them. The Christian must realize that everyone who desires to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer some kind of persecution (2 Tim. 3:12). In Romans 8:17-18, 35-36, we find that suffering is linked to being children of God (Christians). Christ told His disciples, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5:11-12).

Revelation 21:8 gives us the message to stand fast by saying that we must not be fearful to the point of becoming unfaithful. We discover the words “stand fast” in both letters to the Thessalonian Christians (1 Thess. 3:8; 2 Thess. 2:15). They were supposed to be faithful to the truth that they had been taught. The Christians in Corinth were told to “stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13) and to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58). 1 Peter 5:9 says to be “steadfast in the faith.” We must apply all of these exhortations to our own lives.


Doubting is another way of the world. It is also a part of being human. Therefore, we will occasionally doubt many things. Sometimes, we may find ourselves facing doubts about our religious belief. This can be good or bad, depending on what we do about our doubts.

There are times when we should question our religious attitudes, because God created us with a sensible and logical mind to discern His existence. And the wrath of God is revealed against those who suppress His truth and create their own “gods” in the likeness of man or creatures — unless they repent (Rom. 1:18-25). Our doubts should cause us to study so that we turn away from any errors and grow in the truth (2 Tim. 2:15). So if we use our doubts in the right way, they can bring good results.

Also, certain situations may cause us to have doubts that will test our faith in the truth. As Christians, what we do about the trials and temptations facing us proves our faith (1 Pet. 1:6-9). God tested Abraham’s faith by commanding him to sacrifice his son, Isaac (Gen. 22:1-2). The faith in the hearts of the Hebrews was tested by their wandering in the wilderness (Deut. 8:2). Jesus tested the faith of others. In Matt. 9:28, He asked two blind men if they believed He could give them sight. Their confessions demonstrated their faith. Christ tested Philip’s faith (Jn. 6:5-6) and Peter’s faith (Matt. 14:24-33).

Christians of today face testing, and sometimes we may face chastening from God (1 Cor. 11:32). But we should remember that we will not be tempted more than we can bear (1 Cor. 10:13). And even chastening from God is for our good (Heb. 12:5-13). It helps us to become fruitful, which is an essential part of being a Christian (Jn. 15:2).

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4). In all of the testing of our faith, we must not allow doubts to overcome us. In 2 Thess. 2:2 we read “...not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter....” Although this teaching referred to misconceptions about the second coming of Christ, these words are appropriate to every Christian about doubts concerning the truth. We must not falter or turn back. We must not forget the former cleansing of our sins (2 Pet. 1:9). We must use any doubts to re-examine our faith, make sure it is correct, and stand fast in the truth.


To stand fast is to be immovable. For that, we need a good foundation. We stand by our faith (Rom. 11:20-22). Therefore, our faith must have a good, strong, correct foundation. Christ taught the importance of this: “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great” (Luke 6:46-49). Christ is that foundation: “...no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11). He is also called the chief cornerstone of the church. His words through the apostles and prophets are necessary for our firm foundation:“...you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Eph. 2:19-20). See Isa. 28:16; 1 Pet. 2:2-10.


In order to stand fast in the faith, we must grow in it. In the early days of the church, some Christians were given special gifts by the Holy Spirit to establish the church and help its spiritual growth. Today we do not have the gifts of prophecy, tongues, and interpretation that they had. But through the written word of the Bible, we can grow in the knowledge of Christ. We must grow so that we will not be “children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ” (Eph. 4:14-15). Therefore, we avoid the changing winds of doctrine found in denominationalism and in other religions. Instead, we grow by continuously applying ourselves to a better knowledge of the word. And that growth helps us to stand fast: “...beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Pet. 3:17-18). Some of the best lessons for spiritual improvement are found in Eph. 6:10-18 and 2 Peter 1:5-8. We should apply these to our plan for growing in the faith.

It is wonderful to stand fast against great odds. The world may reward it with trophies, medals, and mention in history books. These things are nice, but they will not last forever. There are greater, more enduring rewards for the Christian who stands fast. Christ said, “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matt. 6:20). See also Matt. 13:44; 19:21; Lk. 12:33. It is essential that we stand fast and also improve (Phil. 3:8-14) so that we gain the spiritual prize. Some people think it is most important to receive the trophies and medals of this life. The Christian who endures, who is faithful even unto death, receives the crown of life (James 1:12; Rev. 2:10). Some people think it is most important to have their names in the history books of this world. On the day of judgment, the faithful Christian’s name will be written in the book of Life (Rev. 20:11-15). To stand fast is to endure. To endure is to reign with Christ (2 Tim. 2:12). The spiritual rewards will last forever. Stand fast in the Lord.