Summary: Message 14 from Philippians continuing discussion of Paul's exhortation to stand firm in the Lord.
Stand Firm in the Lord Part 3
“Stand Firm in the Storms of Life”
Paul’s letter to the Philippians offers some key elements to “Maintaining the Joy of the Lord No Matter What”.
I. ADOPT THE RIGHT AXIS -- SUPERIOR PERSPECTIVE
The Exaltation of Christ in Everything
Passion to Praise Jesus
II. MAINTAIN THE RIGHT ATTITUDE -- SUPERIOR PATTERN OF LIVING
Humble Obedience modeled by Jesus
Passion to Please Jesus
III. PURSUE THE RIGHT AIM – SUPERIOR PURSUIT 3:1-21
Knowing and Living Christ
Passion to Pursue Christ above all else
IV. Practice the right actions – Superior Practice 4:1-8
Passion to live well
Last time we focused on the command in verse 1 to stand firm in the Lord. Because there are so many different areas related to standing firm we only briefly referenced the last time, I want to take a bit more time to dive a little deeper. There are over a hundred passages related to “standing firm” with many more referencing the same concept with different terms like persevere, endure, don’t grow weary etc.
A. Stand firm in the Lord 4:1
Therefore, my brothers, dearly loved and longed for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, dearly loved.
Paul used a military term meaning to hold your ground. He already encouraged such perseverance several times in this short letter.
APPLICATION OF STAND FIRM IN THE LORD
Stand firm against persecution and false teaching
What enables us to stand up to this opposition?
Be strong IN THE LORD.
Our connection to Christ dramatically affects our stand.
Constantly cultivating a close relationship with Him is essential.
It enables us to hear His specific direction.
It enables a Biblical perspective.
It strengthens faith; know what and why you believe.
Trust the Holy Spirit to give you the words.
Have each other’s back
Stand firm IN THE LORD!
How are we supposed to respond to opposition?
1. Stand against / resist them or confront them with the truth
2. Pray for and bless those who persecute and even use you.
3. Keep Silent
Under certain circumstances and for a specific purpose, Jesus chose to keep silent.
Jesus did not tackle or address every “evil” He observed around Him.
He concentrated on offering the “good news” and ministering to people.
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.” Luke 4:18-19
but Jesus said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” Luke 4:43
Just be sure your decision to be silent is Spirit-directed.
Equally important is to be sure your decision to resist is also Spirit-directed.
4. Live Godly lives
We are salt and light in a dark world. Note that the being light has more to do with works rather than words.
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
We also need words but keep a biblical balance. Be sure your problematic works don’t negate your persuasive words.
Stand firm in the storms of life.
Nearly every section of the Bible addresses this fact of life. Ever since Adam and Eve rebelled against God and His way of doing things, difficulty, pain and suffering have dominated humankind. There is not a single person here this morning not struggling with some difficult circumstance in their life. Many of those difficulties are not directly related to some personal poor choice. These struggles come simply due to living in rebellious and broken world. We suffer the accumulated consequences of multiple centuries of poor choices.
Such difficulties affect every area of life; environmental, relational, physical, financial, mental, emotional, circumstantial, spiritual. These struggles include things like deteriorating health, severe loss and unexplainable tragedy, broken relationships, job loss, addictions, demonic oppression and temptation, dealing with emotional health, fear, anxiety, anger, bitterness, physical and emotional fatigue and stress, loss of motivation, feelings of distance from God weariness in doing good, feelings of insecurity and being unappreciated etc.
In all these things, Scripture urges us to STAND FIRM IN THE LORD.
Given the number of verses which address this subject I am only able, in the time we have, to touch on a few and try to zero in on what I feel at this point are some key points. I am sure there are more but I have narrowed my categories to three basic elements involved in standing firm in the storms of life whatever they may be.