Lenten Reader | Day 14

Stand Firm

Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,  who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!

- Philippians 3:17-4:1
Let me tell you about Ms. Evelyn. I had the joy of meeting Ms. Evelyn while she was serving in my college ministry. She lost her husband and her kids were grown, so she dedicated her time to building up young people – specifically ones who are new to the faith. She didn’t do anything special, but she was able to impact so many students’ lives by sharing her life with them. She brought us into her home, loved and encouraged us, and didn’t shy away from talking about her walk with Jesus every single time you were around her. She was quick to share her joys and her struggles and helped us open up and do the same. She wasn’t doing it for a pat on the back or extra brownie points in heaven. She just genuinely loved the Lord and wanted others to know Him as she does.

This passage in Philippians reminds me of her. She stood firm in her faith and her relationship with Jesus. Paul encourages the Philippians to watch and imitate the example that he sets so that they too may stand firm in their faith. Faith in Jesus is hard. It is something we have to continually work at.

Standing firm means nothing can shake the foundation of our faith. We may shake and stumble because life is not easy, but we have Jesus to rely on. Watching someone like Ms. Evelyn truly rely on the Lord in her daily life gave me a tangible way to think about my relationship with Jesus. I was able to see how she put into practice what Jesus is teaching us. Was she perfect? No. Was Paul perfect? No. But they are both striving to live a life above reproach and willing to share their triumphs and mistakes with younger believers.

We were not meant to figure this out alone. The best way to stand firm in our faith is by doing life with the rest of the body of Christ. Over and over again in the Bible, we see Christ followers living and communing together. My hope in the next few weeks is that you think about ways to find a Ms. Evelyn in your life or to be a Ms. Evelyn in someone else’s.

- Abby Kunz
Father, help me stand firm in my faith in Jesus because the world is trying to distract me. Help me find someone to walk through this life of faith with me and someone that I can help walk in faith.