Hold On, Stand OnFive verses with reflection questions for you as we journey through this uncharted territory together.
I find it fascinating to watch rock climbers scale the steepest of cliffs. With their handholds and footwork, they grasp firmly on places they know will hold them securely, and then fearlessly venture higher and higher—climbing to heights that seem insurmountable.
The effects of COVID-19 have presented new challenges and emotions that perhaps feel like a steep, looming cliff in front of you. I’m so thankful that God has given us everything we need to hold onto—Himself. Our handhold can be firmly gripped to His Word which provides hope, assurance and encouragement. Our foothold can rest securely on the confidence that He will never leave us. Together with Jesus, we can overcome heights and obstacles we could never tackle alone.
Here are five verses (just to get you started) with reflection questions that you can hold on and stand on as we journey through this uncharted territory together:
1. The Waters, the Rivers, the Fire
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2, NIV).
- Consider the words “waters,” “rivers” and “fire” in that verse. What is it about each of those elements that gives you fear?
- “I will be with you.” How does this promise of God compare to your fear of the waters?
- “…they will not sweep over you.” What picture comes to your mind as you consider this promise of God in comparison to your fear of the rivers?
- “…you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” What does this promise mean to you? And pictures come to mind? Communicate that to God.
- Submit all fear to God, in Jesus’s name. Fear, like a heavyweight, can hinder your freedom in Christ. Name each weight, one by one, and choose to leave it at the feet of Jesus. Claim His promise to you in this verse instead. Hold onto it. Stand onto it.
2. Strong and Brave
“On the day I called to You, You answered me. You made me strong and brave” (Psalm 138:3, NCV)
- “On the day I called to you.” Consider how often you call on God and if He is the first One you call on. Ask God if there’s anything that needs to change.
- “You answered me.” How has God answered you? How would you like God to answer you? Spend time communicating your desires to God.
- “You made me strong…” In what ways has God made you strong? Thank Him.
- “…and brave.” In what areas of your life, does God want to make you brave?
- Consider people throughout Scripture who God made both strong and brave.
- Daniel 3:16-28 (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego)
- Daniel 6 (Daniel in the lions’ den)
- What did Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego have in common?
- What do those four men have in common with you?
- What promises did God fulfill in their lives? Claim His strength and bravery in yours too. Hold onto it. Stand onto it.
3. Soar, Run, Walk
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:30,31, NIV)
- Have you grown tired and weary? Have you stumbled and fallen? Don’t lose hope. Your strength can be renewed in God. How can you place your hope in God?
- “They will soar on wings like eagles.” How would you describe a soaring eagle? How do those qualities relate to you? How does the height of a flying eagle adjust your perspective?
- “…they will run and not grow weary.” How would running without growing weary change your life? What causes you to grow weary when you run? What is God calling you to do?
- “…they will walk and not be faint.” Where is God leading you to walk spiritually? In what ways does He need to strengthen you?
- Imagine yourself soaring, running and walking—all while placing your hope in Jesus. Hold onto it. Stand onto it.
4. Nothing Will Separate
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38, NIV).
- Consider the words “death,” “life,” “angels,” “demons,” “present,” “future,” “powers,” “height,” “depth.” What weight do those words carry in your life? What hidden fears are connected with those words?
- As you look at each word, place an X through it as you say (one word at a time): “I am convinced that God’s love for me is greater!”
- Reflect on how God has shown His love to you? Hold onto it. Stand onto it.
5. Not Consumed
“Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22,23, NIV).
- What has consumed you, lately?
- “Because of the Lord’s great love.” Consider God’s love. What words would you use to describe it? Read 1 Corinthians 13 if you need inspiration.
- How do the attributes of God’s love dismiss everything of this world that has consumed you?
- “…for His compassions never fail.” How have the compassions of God never failed you?
- “They are new every morning…” On a piece of paper, write the names of the seven days that have passed this week. Under each day, write ways that God has shown you His love, His compassion and His faithfulness. They are new every morning! Hold onto it. Stand onto it.
Life may present unexpected cliffs in front of us, but we have God to hold on and to stand on. He will never let us down.
“The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights” (Habakkuk 3:19, NIV).
Born and raised in South Africa where she studied to be an elementary school teacher, Captain Pamela Maynor met her husband while working for The Salvation Army in Cincinnati, Ohio. Pamela and Keith (her handsome husband) graduated from The Salvation Army’s College for Officer Training in June 2007. Over the past decade they have ministered in New York, New Jersey and now Virginia where she currently serves as the Editor of Peer. Three children later, Captain Pamela cherishes any activity that involves being outdoors with her family. Hot apple pie is by far her favorite American delicacy!
This article was originally published in the May 2020 issue of Peer.