You have to keep holding on

Published 8:12 pm Monday, August 6, 2018

By Joseph Perry

“Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” Philippians 4:1

I was reading a clipping about a mountain called the Tianmen Mountain in China. It’s said that this mountain is considered one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. To see its very tall cliffs and the beautiful grandeur, you have to take the Tianmen cable car.

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The Tianmen cable car travels about 4.5 miles an hour. It’s amazing how this cable car can travel such long distances, and then go around steep mountains without any motor on the car itself. Yet it moves safely up those heights by keeping a strong grip on a cable that is moved by a powerful motor.

On our journey as Christians, we, like the cable car, have to keep a strong grip on Christ. Sometimes we don’t have a strong grip in Christ like we should, and when we don’t have this grip, we can’t endure this race that’s set before us. It’s hard to hold on when you have so many things that confront you, and you look around and don’t see how it will work out in your favor.

In the text, Paul is writing to the church at Philippi. He’s telling them to stand firm in the Lord. If they were looking to see Jesus face to face, they had to forget the things that were behind them, and press forward. The truth of the matter is, you can’t hold on and move forward to the things God has in store for you when you have a focus somewhere else. The wrong focus can keep you from moving forward or just slow you down.

We have no resources of our own to endure the hard knocks. Therefore, you have to:

4Fully be in it. If you are really going to hold on in this Christian journey, you’ve got to make sure you are fully in it. Some people will have you believe they are fully in it. They will tell you that their soul is anchored in the Lord, but when the wind starts to blow, when the rain begins to pour, they will show you if they’re fully in it or not. But if you are really going to hold on, you got to give it all you’ve got. You can’t just focus on your own strength. The only way you can really hold on is you have to be totally committed to living for God. You have to be fully in it. It’s not just being fully in it, but you have to also:

4Fight to hold on to it. Once you get in, you can’t just sit back and relax or become so settled that you forget. If you’re really going to hold on, you will have to fight. There is so much in life that will nudge and push you to give in. Life presents a lot to throw at you, but you come too far to give up or to turn around. I don’t know who this word is for, but you can rest assured that:

4Faith will see you through it. We must depend fully on Christ to keep us moving forward. He will take us through the greatest challenges and lead us safely home. Have faith in God, knowing when you keep your eyes on Him, it will give you strength to hold on. Just like the cable car has a strong grip on the cable, through steep mountains, we must have a strong grip on the Lord.

The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Perry is pastor of St. Mark AME Zion Church. Contact him at