After living in fight/flight/freeze mode for most of my life, I find it necessary to reset my default time and time again. I do that by reminding myself I am not that person anymore. Remembering one’s training amidst hard times is what “soldiers” are supposed to do. Lately, I have recalled several lessons from the past. One of those lessons is the difference between a fortress and a prison.

Prison or Fortress

If given a choice which would you choose? Of course, the answer is clear. The key is knowing the difference between the two.

Prison: A state of confinement or captivity

In the past, I learned when inside a spiritual prison, it is hard to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and to focus on God’s Word. Worry, doubt, and fear seek to chain us, never to be free again. Rather than forge ahead in strength and confidence, we’re unable to move.

But there is hope.

In Romans 15, Paul tells his listeners that God is a God of patience, comfort, hope, and peace. I’m sure we could use all four in our lives, so let us run to the Lord, who can supply our needs.

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost (Romans 15:13).

Fortress: A fortified place, a strong hold, castle or citadel

The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him (Nahum 1:7).

During wartime, townsfolk gathered behind castle walls or inside the castle itself, and remained there until the threat was over.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust (Psalm 91:1-2).

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee (Psalm 56:3).

When we “dwell” in the secret place, we can hear the Shepherd’s voice. We are not afraid because we dwell in safety and know His peace. Are you dwelling—sitting in the secret place? Trusting in Him?

The Word of God and Prayer

The Scriptures help us to know the truth. When we dwell on His Word, we will have peace. Why worry when we can bring all our cares to Him. Dig into the Word. Memorize it. Pray it. And watch what God will do!

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16).

Songs, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you are aware music is woven into the fabric of my being. I live, breathe, and dream about it. Whether worship, praise, testimonial, or hymns, each has helped me through the storms of life.

Recently, a friend shared “He Will Hold Me Fast” on her timeline. After listening to it for the first time, I went in search of the story that would inspire someone to write such a compelling assurance for the listener. Here’s what I found. 

Robert Harkness, R. A. Torrey’s pianist, tells the story of a convert who feared he could never hold on to his new-found faith. After listening to the young man’s concern, Harkness wrote a letter to lyricist Ada R. Habershon requesting she write songs of assurance for believers.

Months later, Harkness received the songs during a campaign in Philadelphia. Rather than listening to Torrey’s afternoon sermon, he set the words to music. That evening, the song leader Charles M. Alexander introduced He Will Hold Me Fast to 4000 people. Since then, the song has been translated into many languages.

“Walking through a difficult personal season of doubt and uncertainty,” Matt Merker wrote another verse and tune for the song (I love it). He introduced the new version to Capitol Hill Baptist Church in 2013. The video contains that version.

But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more (Psalm 71:14).

Many of us are facing our own struggles during this time of uncertainty. I’d like to take this time and encourage you to remember the promises of God. Remember, through the finished work of the cross, justice was satisfied, grace was extended, and mercy was given. We are NOT parolees still doing time, but children of light. We have been delivered from the power of darkness and translated to the kingdom of Christ. We are precious in His sight. He’ll not let our souls be lost. He holds us fast.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen (Jude 1: 24-25).

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Bible Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Castle Image by Jonathan Sautter from Pixabay

18 thoughts on “Held

  1. Hi, Saania. I write fiction and nonfiction. My memoir Treasures of Hope: Discovering the Beautiful Truth Beneath My Painful Past was published in 2017. Thank you for visiting and asking about my writing.

  2. Gail, what a beautiful post. It resonated. And this here: “We are NOT parolees still doing time, but children of light. We have been delivered from the power of darkness and translated to the kingdom of Christ. We are precious in His sight. He’ll not let our souls be lost. He holds us fast.” Yes, we are NOT parolees. Sometimes we have to shift our mindsets, don’t we?

    Have you heard the song by Casting Crowns called, “Just be Held?” It’s one of my favorites, ever.

    • Thank you, Jeanne. The parolee lesson is one the Lord has rubbed into me. I have heard “Just Be Held.” I love it! It was one of the songs I played continually while writing my memoir ” Treasures of Hope.” It helped me remember what God had done and is doing in my life. It is still one of my favorites. Thank you for visiting!

  3. A mighty fortress is our God. I really hadn’t thought about it this way. My tendency is to see our quarantine as confinement. Now, I can see it with new eyes for what it really is–protection–a mighty fortress. Thanks so much for this timely post.

    • Good afternoon, Melissa. Thank you for your prayers. Praying for your family also. We are hunkered down waiting out the storm in the arms of Jesus! Blessings.

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