Hold Fast by Scarlett Stough

 

How often do we Christians read Jesus’ message to the churches in Revelation chapters one through three? We probably don’t too often because it’s a scary book and a little confusing. But the correction and encouragement Jesus gives the Church through all the ages is not confusing. He is giving us instruction about our priorities. Notice that every church and every Christian is called upon to read each of these letters, not just the church to which it is addressed. Three times Jesus exhorts us “to hold fast”* in this message:

Only hold fast what you have until I come (Revelation 2: 25 ESV.)

Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it [hold fast KJV], and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you (Revelation 3:3 ESV.)

I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown (Revelation 3:11ESV.)

God promises to keep us, to preserve us, to finish the work he is doing in us, but we are called upon to “hold fast” as well. As parents we can remember often instructing our small children to hold on while we cross a busy street or wander a crowded area. We had no intention of letting go, but we also knew the potential of the child to pull free and run unheeding into danger. We are God’s small children and he is instructing us to hold on to him by obeying the apostles’ teachings of the New Testament, by maintaining our faith in Jesus as the Son of God, and clinging to that hope we have through Jesus:

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter (II Thessalonians 2:15 ESV.)

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession (Hebrews 4:14 ESV.)

So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:17-20 ESV.)

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful

(Hebrews 10:23 ESV.)

I know I need this encouragement often--to just hold on to what I have when it seems as though I’m just barely treading water in a flood of busy-ness or discouraging circumstances. Let’s all hang on to our Heavenly Father and not pull away thinking we’ll get there faster, or by a better way, or just simply being heedless of the danger of following the enticements of this world.

 

*2902 krateo, as a verb, means “to be strong, mighty, to prevail,” is most frequently rendered “to lay or take hold on.” The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, copyright 2001.


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