Posted by on 12 March 2013 | 0 Comments

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This week, Diane and I had occasion to walk around the battlefield in Manassas, Virginia where the First Battle of Bull Run was fought.  It was here that Thomas Jonathan Jackson earned the nickname “Stonewall.”  The story is told, that as the Confederate lines began to crumble under heavy Union assault, Jackson's brigade provided crucial reinforcements on Henry House Hill.  The commander demonstrated the discipline he instilled in his men, refusing to retreat, and instead, standing in the face of the oncoming onslaught. Brig. Gen. Barnard Elliott Bee, Jr., exhorted his own troops to re-form by shouting, "There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Rally behind the Virginians.”  The rally turned the tide.  And Thomas Jackson would take his place in history as ‘Stonewall’ Jackson.

There is something to be said for having the courage to stand.  It’s the courage of Moses who - when surrounded by Pharoh’s army - told the Israelites to stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord had for them this day.  It’s the courage of Daniel to walk into the lion’s den knowing God would be with him.  It’s the courage of Joseph not to falter even when God seemed to allow hardship and struggle come his way.

It’s the courage that God calls us to this day.  Yes, courage.  Courage when the doctor’s prognosis is not good.  Courage when our children walk down paths we know will bring them harm.  Courage when we face temptation.  Courage to live as Christ in the world.

You see, when things are going our way, it is then easy to stand, to give the Lord praise and thanksgiving, and to boldly proclaim him as Savior and Lord.  But the real test is what do we do when life takes a nosedive?  When things go from good to bad to worse?  When life - even in the Spirit - throws giant-sized curveballs our way?

Will we stand - like a rock - on the rock of salvation?

Here’s two things standing accomplishes.  First, instead of sinking into a pit when life squeezes us, standing allows us to walk through the struggle with confidence that we will share in the victory that is ours in Jesus Christ.  It may seem tough to have this confidence.  We may have to stare down an army of fear marching our way.  But, amazingly, when we stand in the strength of the Lord, we discover that in standing, we discover God melting the fear away, and bringing forth His deliverance, while strengthening our faith.  And secondly - like Stonewall, Daniel, Joseph, and Moses - you standing inspires others to stand.  Stonewall inspired an army to regroup and return to battle.  Our Biblical examples inspire us to stand for Jesus in the face of opposition.  But understand this:  When YOU stand in the manner of Jesus, in the face of adversity, you WILL inspire others to do the same.  And if enough stand - in the manner, name, and Spirit of Jesus - we can change the world for good and for God.

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.”  Whatever the trial, learn to stand in faith, and see the deliverance God will bring for you.  He is faithful, and he will do it. 

 

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