One of the powerful spiritual processes we can employ is to remain faithful and to continue to hold on in faith in God, despite challenges that come our way. The Bible speaks of this in various ways, prompting us to settle our trust in God and remain faithful to Him, through all the difficulties.
The Prophet Jeremiah is an example of what it means to Hold On. He was called by God to warn the nation of Israel of judgement about to fall on them. God was about to send the whole nation away in exile for the idolatry and sin of the people. Jeremiah was called to speak God’s warning to a people who did not want to hear the message. He lived through the long siege of Jerusalem and its final capture by Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian army.
That was a tough time for Jeremiah and he was deeply pained by all he had to go through. Yet he knew he had no choice but to Hold On to his faith in God and be obedient even when he desperately wanted to get out of the situation.
Jeremiah wrote a book of Laments about the terrible situation. In that book he cries in despair at the terrible destruction.
“I weep for these things. My eye, my eye runs down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me. My children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed.” Lamentations 1:16
Then he reminds himself and others that there is nowhere else to go but to God.
“Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. Let us lift up our heart with our hands to God in the heavens.” Lamentations 3:40,41
He ends by calling out to God to please come through and rescue them.
“Turn us toward you, and we will be turned. Renew our days as of old.” Lamentations 5:21
Jeremiah had no alternative but to Hold On. Despite his despair and pain, in the end it turned out that everything he foretold came to pass. All those who mocked and attacked him were destroyed. And even the great Prophet Daniel relied on the writings of Jeremiah to understand God’s timing.
It was a hard road, but no other option was going to work for Jeremiah or the people. The only option was to Hold On to God and fit in with God’s plans.
Similarly we have no real alternative but to live in the fear of God and follow His instructions, relying on Him through thick and thin.
“Do not grow weary in doing the right thing, for in due time we will get our harvest, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
“Since we have a great high priest that has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firm to our profession of faith.” Hebrews 4:14
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose life, so you and your descendants may live, and that you may love the Lord your God, obey Him, and hold fast to Him.” Deuteronomy 30:19,20
Through the centuries there are those who had to Hold On to their faith in God in the face of being martyred for their beliefs. Others had to Hold On, through great trials. Others had to Hold On through a time of testing. Others had to Hold On, in order to break through in some area.
Each of us has to Hold On to our choice to believe in God and trust Christ for our Salvation. We Hold On in faith, against all doubts and attacks. We Hold On to our confidence and our good confession of trust in the Lord. We Hold On in hope and expectancy. We also Hold On, because there is nowhere else to go.
Many who followed Jesus were offended and stopped being His disciples. Jesus challenged His twelve apostles about whether they too would abandon Him. Their answer was that they had nowhere else to go.
“From that time on, many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him. So Jesus asked the twelve, Will you leave also? Simon Peter replied, Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that You are the Holy One of God.” John 6:66-69
In times of trial and difficulty we would all like to get out of the pain and turmoil. However there may well be no alternative but to go through the difficulties, trust God, be faithful to Him and wait on His deliverance.
That’s what it is to Hold On. And that’s a powerful spiritual response from you, for it keeps you in the right place before God and allows God to do all He wants to do in you and through you.
So, my friends, in all the situations that now press on you, from difficulties to being mocked or despised, no matter how sorely your faith is tested, may you find God’s strength to continue to Hold On.