We all have moments in life when we have to face challenging situations and make difficult decisions. As women of faith, these moments can be especially difficult as we grapple with issues of identity, purpose, and ultimate truth–and what God wants us to learn through our hard times. God’s Word tells us there are some things we need to “hold fast.” What does holding fast actually mean and how can we live with an anchored faith in times of testing?
Let’s explore the fundamentals of holding fast to the Bible, the things God tells us to cling to, and how we can hold fast to our faith even in our trials.
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What Does Holding Fast to Faith Actually Mean?
Many years ago, I had the opportunity to go white water rafting. We strapped ourselves awkwardly into bright orange life jackets and settled into the yellow inflatable raft. Our guide gave us quick instructions about what to do when we hit the rapids, putting an emphasis on what we needed to do to make sure we didn’t fall out of the raft. Then, we pushed off from the shore.
For a while, we drifted down the calm river, barely using our paddles. The guide sat at the back, using his paddle occasionally to direct our raft in the right direction. Then, we hit our first rapid.
As the raft bobbed up and down and crashed between the white waves and the rocks, I held on with all of my might! Since my hands were gripping the paddle, I stuck my feet up under the seat in front of me and dug my toes in as hard as I could.
I dug my paddle into the water, fighting the powerful current and following the guide’s instructions–all the while praying I could stay in the boat. The crazy rapids shoved our raft high into the air, then crashed it back down again. Jagged rocks loomed all around us.
Finally, we came to the end of that run of rapids, and the water turned calm and smooth again. We floated peacefully until we hit the next rapids, and the process began again.
Grip. Paddle. Hold fast.
Our Christian life is often very similar to this experience. We have our guide–the Bible, that gives us instructions about what to do when our life hits the rapids. But we can’t truly understand what it means until our raft is totally out of our control and we’re spinning and crashing, rising and falling.
The term “hold” means “grasp, carry or support with one’s hands.” The word “fast” means “so as to be hard to move; securely.”
It originates from the Greek word, Κατέχωμεν (Katechōmen), meaning, “Let us hold”.
When we’re faced with difficult circumstances in life, we must grasp our faith and hold tight to God’s promises. We need to hold on tight so we can’t be moved and become steadfast in faith, even when don’t understand God’s plan.
The Most Popular Holding Fast Verse–Hebrews 10:23
The most popular verse in the Word of God about holding fast is Hebrews 10:23, which says, Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Often times, faith doesn’t come easily. In fact, faith that comes easily isn’t faith at all–we call that “sight.”
Therefore, having a steadfast faith means you’re resolute in knowing and trusting God’s character, even when the storms of life are raging around you.
A woman of faith doesn’t let her feelings, emotions, or circumstances move her from the truth she knows about her Heavenly Father. And that truth will carry her through the darkest times of her life and fuel her with strength in moments she doesn’t have any of her own.
But the most beautiful and empowering part of Hebrews 10:23 comes in the parentheses at the end.
God is faithful to keep his promises.
As a child of God, we can have faith that doesn’t waver, because we are resting in the promises of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What are the promises of God that we can cling to in tough moments?
First, He promised that He would never leave us.
…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)
We can have faith, knowing that Jesus is always with us. We can stand up to whatever the enemy throws at us because Jesus is always in our corner.
Second, we have the Holy Spirit living in our hearts, and He is praying for us. When we’re faced with hard times and we don’t even know how to pray, the Holy Spirit prays for us.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26)
Therefore, we can hold fast to our faith in God because He is faithful to us. He will always keep His promises, and we can trust Him to lead us no matter what we face.
Types of Holding Fast in the Bible
The Bible says in Hebrews 2:1, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” Obviously, we must be careful and hold on these truth and guard our hearts.
Satan knows where we are weak and if he can cause us to slip up and forget God’s goodness, or let go of the things that matter, he will.
There are a few areas of life in particular that he likes to attack, but God has given us Scripture to help us stand firm against temptation. Children of God can be prepared to hold fast in these areas so that Satan won’t cause you to stumble and stray from the Lord.
Holding Fast to Jesus
In the Old Testament, God’s people needed a high priest to carry animal sacrifices to make atonement for their sins. But after Jesus came to die on the cross, we no longer need a high priest. For New Testament Christians, Jesus serves in the role of our high priest, and we can come to God through Him.
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (Hebrews 4:14)
When you need to speak to your Heavenly Father, you don’t need to make a trip to the temple. You only need to humble yourself before the Lord and talk with Him in prayer. Hold fast to this special relationship with Jesus, and know that He is holding fast to you!
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:29)
There are rewards for those who hold fast to Jesus. In fact, He promised that if we hold fast to Him, He’ll hold fast to us and be there to help us when we’re in trouble.
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:14-16, ESV)
Holding Fast to Faith
The book of Hebrews is home to the “Hall of Faith,” where God gives us a list of people who displayed strong faith in the face of adversity. Hebrews 11:6 gives us this simple instruction, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Satan knows that our faith pleases God, so he will attack our faith on a daily basis. Every minute spent doubting God is time we aren’t serving Him or worshipping Him.
For that reason, we should cling to God’s promises and spend time in God’s presence each day! Don’t let your enemy cause you to let go of your faith, even when you’re facing a hard time.
When we are facing hard times, it’s easy to start doubting God and wondering how a good God could allow your circumstances to happen.
Lean into your Heavenly Father for strength and allow the hope of God to fuel your weary soul. Even you can’t see the end to your struggles, you can trust God to carry you through the darkness.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6)
Holding Fast to the Word of God
Just like my river rafting guide, the Bible is our guide to life. Apostle Paul tells us that part of the Armor of God is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
Have you ever wondered why daily Bible study is such a struggle? Bible verses are a powerful tool for combating the power of Satan in our lives. So if he can keep us from spending time in the Word of God, he knows he is weakening our defenses and we’re not rooted in the Word.
The Apostle John wrote, “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” Our strength and hope are found in the Bible, and we should hold fast to that Word of Life.
It’s there, through studying the Bible, where we get to know the heart of God and learn how to fight the battles of this life with the sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:17)
The Book of Proverbs is full of passages that explain how important it is to be wise and follow God’s ways. The author of Proverbs, King Solomon puts it this way, “She (wisdom) is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.” Holding fast to God’s Word is truly the key to peace and happiness.
Holding Fast to Our Righteousness
In the Old Testament, we read the story of how Job suffered for his righteousness. Satan attacked him, taking everything that mattered to him, including his children.
On top of it all, his “friends” came over to “comfort” him. Instead, they began to accuse him of terrible sin. (With friends like that, who needs enemies?)
Job replied, “My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.”
We know that we have no righteousness of our own, but God has given us His righteousness. When you make a choice to live for God, sometimes people won’t understand and will attack you unfairly. But don’t let go. Don’t give up doing following God, even if it’s not popular.
Holding Fast to Sound Teaching
The world is full of false teaching. Everyone has their own ideas about what’s right and what’s wrong. But the truth is, only the Bible is 100% accurate. If you want to know the truth you can find it in God’s Word.
You might think you don’t know enough about the Bible, but God promises that if we really want to know, He will show us. (James 1:5)
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. Titus 1:9
But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine. Titus 2:1
Find a trusted Bible teacher, pastor or mentor who can help you understand God’s Word and help you avoid false prophets and wrong teachings.
More Bible Verses About Holding Fast
Holding fast to God and your faith is key to a life that’s rooted in truth and unwavering in the hardships of life.
May these Bible verses about holding fast help you stand firm in times of struggle, suffering, and temptation.
Genesis 2:24 (ESV)
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Deuteronomy 10:23 (ESV)
You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him, and by his name you shall swear.
Deuteronomy 11:22 (ESV)
For if you will be careful to do all this commandment that I command you to do, loving the Lord your God, walking in all his ways, and holding fast to him,
Job 2:3–And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
1 Thessalonians 5:21
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
2 Thessalonians 2:15
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
2 Timothy 1:13
Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.
How to Hold Fast to Faith
Now that you know Satan wants to discourage you and make you doubt God’s promises, you need a plan to combat his attacks!
Here are practical things you can do to hold fast to your faith in God and to your confession of faith (even when life feels impossible).
Remember God’s Works
One of the most important starting points for holding fast is the remember that we serve the living God. Even when we go through bad experiences, He is still in control. You can always find hope in His Word and take refuge in His presence.
Sometimes when we feel alone in a dark world, Satan makes us forget all the things God has done for us in the past.
That’s when we need to turn to the Bible. Over and over again we can see stories of people who faced insurmountable odds but overcame them with God’s help.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed read about these Bible characters:
- Apostle Paul
Remember how God helped them through impossible situations and He will do the same for you. You can stand firm on the victory of Christ and trust that God has already won the war!
Reflecting on God’s faithfulness and provision will help you cultivate a steadfast faith of your own.
There is power in prayer. That’s why Satan tries to keep you from praying. Even if you think you don’t have much time to spend in prayer, know that God wants to hear from you.
Take a minute and think about your closest friend. Chances are, you talk often. They know you deeply, and you know them.
The only way to build that strong connection with your Heavenly Father is by talking to Him every day.Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Even if you only have a little bit of time, it’s important to pray often and throughout the day. Prayer is what connects us to God and keeps us centered on what we believe in tough times.
If you’re struggling with guilt and shame or wrestling with failure, remember that you’re never too far gone for God. He’s waiting to welcome you with open arms, even if you’ve strayed from His commands.
Savor Scripture and Delight in God’s Word
While prayer is how we talk to God, the Holy Scripture is how He speaks to us. When you’re struggling in your own heart, turn to the Bible. Learn how to study the Bible and fall in love with His Word.
The Bible is more than just a book. It is the Word of God and has the power to give you peace and hope.
Psst… you don’t have to be overwhelmed by studying the Bible as a beginner! These powerful Bible study templates will guide your way and help you to feel confident in understanding the Bible.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
Find and regularly attend a church with solid Bible teaching
Sometimes when you’re struggling, you want to turn inward and spend your days alone. But it is important to meet with other true Christians regularly. The house of God is the place to go when you need encouragement.
God established the church so that believers will always have a community to turn to. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, lean into your community for strength and support. The Bible tells us that good Christian friends are important because we strengthen on another.
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Fill your mind with truth
The things you put into your mind really matter. When you’re in the middle of a trial, make sure you are filling your heart with God’s truth. Meditate on Scripture and keep God’s Word always in front of you.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
Listen to worship music, biblical podcasts, and sermons. Pay attention to the thoughts going through your mind. Negative thoughts and hyper-focusing on your circumstances will cause you to doubt more. Instead, focus on all that God has done for you in the past and remember that He loves you.
Consider keeping a hope journal as a record of God’s faithfulness and reflecting on the times He’s provided for you in the past.
Your next steps to holding fast as a woman of faith
Holding fast to faith in a world full of challenges and adversity requires discipline, strength, and courage. It is not always easy, but through faith and trust in God, we can weather any storm and the attacks of our enemy.
By cultivating daily prayer time, reading Scripture, and attending church regularly, we can find the strength and guidance we need to press on. By meditating on good things and remembering God’s power, we can hold on to our faith.
Remember that faith is a journey, not a destination and that God is with you every step of the way. So be strong, have courage, and hold fast to faith!