Soul cleats

In James 5:8 we read: “You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”

Let’s zero-in on the phrase “stand firm.” The oldest manuscripts we have of this passage are in Greek. “Stand firm” is an imperative verb. In other words, it’s a command that James expects to be followed.

But what does it mean to “stand firm”?

Other translations render this same phrase as “Establish your hearts” (ESV), or as “Strengthen your hearts” (CSB, NRS), or even as “Take courage” (NLT).

Those are things you do before a storm hits or before you engage in battle. If there’s a risk that you’re going to get knocked off your feet—or otherwise flustered or fearful—you are wise to stand firm!

You know those winter ice cleats you can get for your boots? If you’re on ice or rocks in a winter storm they are awesome. Without them, you’re like a cat trying to run across an ice rink in a tornado.

Do you feel like you’re living through a storm? If so, stand firm. And friends, let me tell you this: You can’t stand firm if you are rooted in anything other than God.

Trust God. Trust his wisdom. Trust him in prayer, in praise, and in the particulars of your daily life.

Storms and battles are everywhere. So if there’s a risk that you’re going to get knocked off your feet—or otherwise flustered or fearful—you are wise to stand firm.

It’s time to put on your soul cleats.

By Matthew Ruttan

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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