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Saturday, 16 November 2013

Hold fast that which is good

As I wrote the title of this post 'Hold fast that which is good' the sentence 'Hold fast that which is God' came straight into my mind, for that which is truly 'good' is that which is God.

When our son bought his first cottage with his first wife, who has since fallen asleep in the Lord, there was an old picture on one of the walls in the lounge of that cottage with the words 'Hold fast that which is good'.   I feel that I had been brought to see these words as encouragement to me to put my trust in Gods word, whether it be for guidance or for a promise.

I have been tested in many areas in my life regarding putting my trust in the Lord and I would like to encourage any other person who might be going through a hard trial that, if you believe the Lord has spoken to you, then hold fast to that which has been spoken.  Trials are quite often tests to strengthen us in the Lord, and help us to mature in Him.

I love these verses from 1 Thessalonians ch. 5 vs 15 - 24, which I believe speak of our maturing in the Lord, the last sentence encouraging us to trust in His faithfulness. 'See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.  Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks:  for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.   Quench not the Spirit.  Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  Abstain from all appearance of evil, and the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He that calls you, who will also do it.'

Sometimes we think the Lord has not answered our prayers because they do not get answered fast enough but there is a time for everything, even for healing. (Ecclesiastes ch.3 v.3).   If we are told in the previous verses from 1 Thessalonians ch.5 that Faithful is He that calls you, then we must trust also that He will also do what He has promised, not looking at the situation, but looking at the promise of God, just as Abraham did when he went to offer his son Isaac, but knew that God would provide a sacrifice because of the promise of descendants through Isaac. (Genesis ch. 22)  Right at the beginning of this chapter it says that God was testing Abraham and I believe we too can be tested to see if we believe a promise God has made to us, and within these tests we can maintain the peace of God which passes all understanding. 

A few weeks ago I was walking around a car boot sale and I found a brass key hanger with the word 'Shalom', both in English and Hebrew on it.  I love this word and I was so pleased that I could buy this item.  I placed it on a candle holder in which was a rose that I cut from a bush about five years ago and dried.  It still has much of its colour and quite a strong perfume.  I placed it there as a reminder to me of the life that we can have as a new creation in our Lord when we are cut off from that which is earthly( the old man).

'Shalom' has a much deeper meaning in the Hebrew language than the 'peace' that we associate it with in the English translation.  According to Strong's Concordance it 's full meaning is  completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety,soundness, tranquillity, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Jesus says in John ch. 16 v.33 'These things I have spoken to you that IN ME you may have PEACE.  In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.'

So all the things listed in Strong's Concordance regarding the meaning of 'shalom'are what we are promised if we are IN THE LORD, and hold fast to the word that He has spoken to us.
The following is a poem that I wrote some years ago which I suppose sum up my feelings on what I have written.

Hold fast that which is good 

I cannot know with yesterday's mind
what tomorrow's heart may feel
and the scenes I get in my head today
in the future may not be real
So I'm taking no thought for tomorrow
and yesterday's already past
but today I am standing on God's precious word
it's the one thing to which I hold fast


Patrinas Pencil said...

Brenda, I love that poem! Perfect words for TODAY! I love the key hanger too. i appreciate the Hebrew language and use the word Shalom. It is a powerful word in Hebrew.

nice to visit you today. even though I haven't blogged, I've tried to keep up with whats happening with you.

Blessings for today and bright hope for tomorrow

S. Knowles said...

Right before I read this latest post from you I was over on youtube and was listening to a beautiful rendition of an old hymn you might be familiar with called "Trust and Obey", I don't usually come on blogspot in the nights, that's when I'm usaully in bed resting watching tv or something, but I was on another blog that has nothing to do wih anything really lol, and somehow I cliked the dashoboard icon and ended up on my dashboard and scrolled down and saw you have a new post, I said oh, I'll read this now.

As I read your post as soon as I got to the words, "put my trust in God's word" the song came back to mind, it's in my mind as I type this, it's such a beautiful song. This might sound strange but I went and googled what holdfast means. I've seen it so many times and just assemed it's definition, I was pretty much right, it means to cling to, a tight grasp. I know I must learn more and more to fully trust God and His word, to holdfast to that which is good. God indeed is faithful, nything that I have prayed for He has answered.

I have one issue, when I ask God to do something, i find myself worrying about it even after I have asked Himabout it and even thoguh I know as a fact from eveidence that He is faithful, i still find my mind sometimes going on what I prayed for worrying. I honestly don't like it because when I pray to God I thank Him for His faithfulness and say I know He's faithful and then sometimes find my mind worrying, I feel like a liar when I'm doing that and it makes me feel bad. Great ost Brenda, I know I need growth in this area, I know God will supply it.

Love that poem.

Brenda said...

Hi Patrina,
have missed your posts and it's lovely to hear from you. That's what I love about the Hebrew language, it has such a depth to it. Thankyou for your encouraging comment and your blessings.
God bless you

Brenda said...

Hi Sateigdra,
Lovely to hear from you.
I smiled when I read your words 'This might sound strange..'. Nothing is strange to me any more, and that's the way I love it. I believe that in order to trust in God and His abilities we have to accept all things that appear 'strange' to the human mind. I know what you mean about worrying after you have prayed, I do the same sometimes, and then I ask the Lord to help me in my unbelief. He healed the man who asked Him this in the scriptures and, as my two big trials have been in finances and sickness, I only have to look back at the amazing things our lovely Lord has done in both these areas in my life to know where the doubtful thoughts are coming from. Then I take those thoughts captive and bring them into obedience to Christ, to the word that the Lord has actually spoken to me. Our warfare is spiritual and the Word has the power to bring into existence that which does not exist.
God bless you in your walk with Him.

Laurie Collett said...

Shalom to you, dear one. There is such peace in waiting on Him, for He alone holds the future and has great plans for us.
God bless,

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Brenda,
Thank you for your Hebrew definition of peace, which is also one of the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Reading the word "Shalom" reminds me of the times I stayed in Israel, and watched the Jewish culture first hand.
The key hanger item you have, had most likely originated from Israel, where it was made and sold before finding its way to the car boot sale. But whatever its history might have been, it was predestined by God for it to be at your home.
God bless.

child of God said...

Oh what a beautiful find!

One day we will understand why we had to wait for things like answered prayer and healing. One day it will all makes sense as we see the bigger picture and I believe we will look at Father and say You are a genius!

In Jesus alone we are totally complete. Thanks for sharing the deeper meaning of the word Shalom.

Beautiful poem Brenda. We need to live fully in today for we do not have a promise of tomorrow.

Blessings sister,

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
and I say 'Shalom' to you too. The more time goes on in my life the more I see the beauty and love of the Lord for His creation. The Hebrew language is fascinating and so deep in meaning.
God bless you

Brenda said...

Hello Frank,
yes I believe that the key holder was predestined to end up in my home. I also believe that because of my love for the word 'Shalom', the Lord knew that there would be a time when I would look up the true meaning of the word in Hebrew. It was encouragement for me (even though I have had healings and miraculous happenings in the past)to trust in the complete healing of what I have had in my body for over twenty five years. The full meaning of this word really emphasizes to me that IN JESUS one of the things we are entitled to claim is healing (and that includes Alex). Even if we find it hard to believe, we can say to our Lord 'Lord help me overcome my unbelief' just as the man in Mark ch. 9 vs. 23 and 24 said when asking for a healing for his son 'Jesus said unto him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believe. And straight away the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, 'Lord, I believe; help me overcome my unbelief'. Jesus still healed the child.
God bless you and Alex

Brenda said...

Hi child of God,
I too believe that we need to live fully in today, I love the song 'Living in the moment', but also I find there is no time to God. He can speak anything He wishes from those scriptures to encourage us at any time, and what is coming straight into my mind at this very second is Jeremiah ch. 29 v.11 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'
God bless you and thank you for your kind comment

Ceil said...

Hi Brenda! What a beautiful post. I loved the whole theme of waiting, but waiting in peace. That The Lord will give us what we need when we need it.

I guess I'm not so different from many in our society who decide what they want, and then want it NOW. Waiting is a lost art really. But to wait on The Lord is a blessing, and I should grow to love that and that image more and more.

I had no idea that Shalom meant so many different things. What a packed word! So much to meditate on here. Thank you!
Have a blessed Monday! And I am always so happy to see you at my place. You always make such thoughtful comments. Bless you :)

Brenda said...

Hi Ceil,
I have always found that the Lord's time is the best time. He sees the end from the beginning and every day in our lives is written in His book before even one of them was formed. Even the timing of looking up the meaning of Shalom was right. My maternal grandfather was Jewish and I have always been fascinated by them and their language. I love coming over to your blog too, it is very open and honest.
God bless you

Never Forsaken said...

Love the poem, Brenda!

I also love that you placed the word "shalom" which promises perfect health and peace on a vase with a rose that once was vibrant with is now resting in peace... like we will once this life fades until we are restored in the fullness of Jesus.
Blessings~ Lisa

Brenda said...

Hi Lisa,
thankyou for your lovely comment. Yes, it is so true that in Him we have 'shalom', everything that is contained in that beautiful word when we truly rest in Him.
God bless you

T-Childs said...

Shalom is a lovely word too, so rounded and complete and pleasant to speak and hear. A bit like the word Cadburys or chocolate; or both together!!!

The Fruits of the Spirit are basically the definition of the beautiful word shalom, a sense of peace, love, spiritual maturity, well being in all senses of the word, knowing that God is watching over us, guiding us and protecting us, which makes us feel utterly secure in a way that nothing earthly ever could or no amount of money or success could either.

I love the little poem you included. We all as Christians have so much to give and so many talents, regardless of who we are and where we come from. We reflect the beauty of our Maker after all.

Brenda said...

Hello Tim,
I love how you have worded your comment, that is how I feel too. I love the word 'Shalom' (It might be partly because my grandfather was Jewish that I love the Hebrew language). I believe that honesty is the one thing that God wants from us - being our true selves so that He can use us as we each learn from Him. I love the blogs because we can share our experiences, feelings and testimonies. Money could never buy what knowing the Lord has given me, our God is the owner and supplier of all things and if we seek Him and His righteousness then all that we need is given us. If I had the choice of having millions and not having been born of God's Holy Spirit or being born of God's Holy Spirit and having no money I would choose the latter. Lovely to hear from you Tim.

Laurie Collett said...

I agree, Brenda, Hebrew is so rich with meaning. Just the very names of God Himself are awe-inspiring and teach us of different aspects -- Jehovah-Jireh (God will privide), Jehovah-Nissi (the LORD is my banner), etc. May you have a very blessed Thanksgiving,

Brenda said...

I know Laurie,
the names of our God are beautiful, and reveal to us just how great He is. One of my favourite praise songs is 'How great is our God'. Blessings to you too Laurie, and your family.

Aritha said...

Thanks Brenda, for your perfect and beautiful words ( and pics). Blessing to you.

Brenda said...

Hi Jedidja,
you are very welcome, Shalom is a very beautiful word.
Blessings to you too.

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
No matter our great the difficulties or temptations we face, we can have faith that our God is greater! There is none other!
Blessings to you this Christmas season,

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
that is very true. Our God is well able to bring us through provided we are doers of His word and not just hearers, and hold fast to His instruction. He does not want us to fall away.
Blessings to you and your family this Christmas season to Laurie.

Stephanie said...

Hello Brenda! I made my way to your blog via dear Ceil :) I was visiting her this morning when I saw your icon and clicked on it, now here I am.

I have taken my time scrolling through your beautiful, encouraging blog and found my heart was quite refreshed this morning as I sipped my coffee and read your posts. I was blessed by this post, especially when you said this, "...hold fast to that which has been spoken." My husband and I have been in the process of moving into a new home for the last month and a half and at first things were going so smoothly and perfectly - we knew the Lord was directing. Then we started getting some "hiccups" with our home last week and this week and I must admit that my patience has been tested every day by our Heavenly Father. Your words just reminded me again to keep my focus on Him and to continue to trust Him in all things. Thank you so much for sharing :)

I am a happy new follower, Brenda, and I am excited to visit again. May you have a blessed Christmas season!

Brenda said...

Hello Stephanie,
it is lovely to meet you, and thank you for your kind comment. I smiled when you said that your patience has been tested every day by our Heavenly Father. I remember asking the Lord to teach me patience some years ago. I had looked up the meaning of the word 'patience' in the dictionary. It said that it meant 'the ability to endure with calmness'. I thought to myself ' I can endure, but I am usually gritting my teeth - with no sign of calmness. Do you know how the Lord answered my prayer Stephanie? He sent me to work as a carer in a home for the elderly. I could not have been in a better place to learn patience. I loved the job and the residents, and what the Lord taught me through it, and stayed there for six years until He moved me on. I have come to learn that trials are the 'Spiritual strengtheners' in the Lord.
May God bless you and your husband richly in your new home.