HOLD FAST by Paul M Hanssen
HOLD FAST - By Paul M Hanssen Have you ever been in a situation in your life where you had to “hold on” to something or else you would have lost it? As a child, were you ever told by your parents or caregiver to “hold tight”, or “don’t let go” when confronted by an opponent in a sports game or when striving for academic achievement? Have you ever had the temptation to give up on something but an inner voice prompted you to “hold fast” and not quit? It is common within our human nature to let go, give up, quit, and release one’s hold on something when frailty, weariness, disappointment, fear, anxiety, and discouragement occupy the spirit and soul. God understands our human nature. He, therefore, made provision in His Word to combat the areas of our human nature that are contrary to His purpose and divine will.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle (2 Thessalonians 2:15).
Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13).
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers (Titus 1:9).
But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end (Hebrews 3:6).
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end (Hebrews 3:14).
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (Hebrews 4:14).
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (Hebrews 10:23).
To the church in Pergamos: I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith (Revelation 2:13).
To the church in Thyatira: But that which ye have already hold fast till I come (Revelation 2:25).
To the church in Sardis: Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee (Revelation 3:3).
To the church in Philadelphia: Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown (Revelation 3:11).
To state that the admonishment to “hold fast” is a central theme in the teaching and doctrine of the New Testament is an understatement. God knows what human nature is capable of. He knows the weaknesses of man’s flesh. He knows how quickly humanity “releases hold” and “gives up”. He understands the temptation the fallen nature faces when confronted with an easier route, a quicker solution, or a more comfortable position than what His will and purpose have determined best for us.
To hold fast means: to keep watch, to guard against loss or injury (by keeping an eye upon), to prevent from escaping, set up a fortress or full military lines of apparatus, to note (a prophecy and to fulfill a command), to detain (in custody and for maintenance), to withhold (for personal ends), to keep unmarried, hold fast, to be a keeper, preserve, observe, and watch over.
To hold fast also means: to use strength, i.e. seize or retain, hold on to, keep, lay hand (hold) on, obtain, and retain.
Basically, it is clear to see that holding fast has to do with using one’s strength when facing difficulty. It has to do with exerting energy when relaxing would be a more pleasant option. It has to do with fighting for something when it would be more convenient to give it all up.
Too many of God’s people are quitting and giving up on the pathway that leads to the fulfillment of God’s purpose. All too many are laying down their arms and surrendering to their own weaknesses. Multitudes are choosing the easier route rather than guarding against loss and injury that which God has given them. Multitudes have and are forfeiting the destiny set before them because the road to get there and the battle to fight through is rugged, fierce, and contrary to the feelings of human nature.
This is not the season or the time to let go and give up! This indeed is the time to hold fast, stand your ground, and not quit! Don’t ever give up. This is what the enemy of your eternal soul would have you do. But the devil, his temptations, and his lies must be resisted, whatever the cost, as must also the weaknesses of our human nature. HOLD ON – HOLD FAST, time is short and the final thrust is the most difficult and tiresome portion of the entire race in which we are presently running. The final part of this journey is not going to be easy but the end is going to be glorious and victorious if we hold fast until the end.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Don’t give up now – there is a joy set before us if we keep running with patience!!
-Paul M Hanssen