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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