Security under pressure
The All Saints’ church building in North Ferriby was completed after 3 years work in 1848. For over 170 years the tower and octagonal spire have withstood all the pressures the East Riding weather can throw at them. For all this time the 50m high structure has stood firm, it has held fast, it has not moved and has stayed secure. As we begin a New Year, where we might feel the pressures of life from various sources, it is good to know that the Bible uses this kind of language to speak of God sustaining Christian believers under pressure.
In his first letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul uses building terminology. We need strengthening, establishing, consolidating and being built up and this comes through the truth of Christ. As we hear God’s message in the Bible and encourage one another with it, we can take God’s promises and hold onto them, chew them over and remind ourselves of them. We can remember who Jesus is, what He came to do and what He will do in the future at His return. We can also be encouraged by God’s “visible word” – the pledges of God’s grace and love as we share bread and wine. Practical encouragement can also give a boost and make a real difference in the struggles of life – perhaps by sending a thoughtful card with a Bible verse on it, a sensitive gift, a quick phone call.
Such strengthening is also enabled by prayer. The prayer in 1Thessaloninas 3:11-13 is a good one for ourselves and one another as 2019 gets underway. It’s a prayer that we would stand firm in Christ and in love, knowing that God will, at Jesus’ return, perfect us fit for the new creation (heaven come to earth) that He will bring. In these words, there is a great encouragement to remember that ultimately God will establish us and help us stand firm to the end, because of His love and grace in Jesus. “Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus…make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all…so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his people.”
Happy New Year!