Stay the course is a phrase that originated as a nautical metaphor on maintaining a constant, unaltering course while navigating the Sea. It was also a recurring phrase used in the Mel Gibson film The Patriot. Mel Gibson played a former soldier, turned farmer and then Colonel of the local Militia during the Revolutionary War. Throughout the movie Two of his sons were killed, his friends and supporters were burned out of their homes and killed. He almost quit. He decided to throw in the towel, stating that the cost was more than he could bear. However, he decided to stay the course and finish what he had started.
The Apostle Paul said:
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: - 2 Timothy 4:7
In this podcast, we will look at what it means to stay the course.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Corinthians 15:51-57
We have the victory through the Lord Jesus Christ
We have the victory over death, the grave, and this old Body.
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
We have the victory, but Christians walk around as if they are defeated. Christians feel defeated because we allow ourselves to get entangled in the affairs of this world:
- Hurt Feelings
- and more
We need to be reminded to Stay the Course
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. - 1 Corinthians 15:58
Whenever you see the word “therefore” in the Bible, you need to see what it is there for. In this case, it is there to remind us that since we know the Gospel, and we know that the Lord is returning that where he is there, we may be also (John 14:1-6) and that when he returns he will give us new bodies, then we should be:
- Always abounding in the work of the Lord
What is the work of the Lord?
The work of the Lord is not just for Pastors, Missionaries, and Evangelists. The work of the Lord is for every born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. All Christians are in full-time ministry; there are no part time or retired Christians. The work of the Lord includes:
- Trusting the Lord for your needs
- Trusting the Lord for guidance
- Obeying his commands
- Proclaiming his message
- Fulfilling your purpose in the Body of Christ
- and more
The work that you do in the Lord is not in vain
Your labor that you do “in the Lord” is not in vain; however, all of the work that you spend your time, effort and resources in outside of the Lord is all vain. It is empty and will not amount to a hill of beans. Therefore, knowing that what we do in the Lord matters, will keep us in the fight. It helps us to stay the course.
Be ye stedfast
Stedfast is defined by Firmly fixed or established, constant, resolute, not fickle or wavering. It is what we do.
Unmovable is defined as something that can not be moved. (simple I know).
Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. - Colossians 2:7
In other words, it is something that is rooted and grounded. It is what we are to be.
Keys to Stedfastness
Key #1: A Strong Foundation
I would like to give you some keys to becoming stedfast. The first is that you must have a strong foundation and that foundation is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. - Matthew 7:24-27For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. - 1 Corinthians 3:9-15
Your foundation must start with saving faith and knowledge in the Lord Jesus Christ, or else you will never make it through the storms of life. For more on how to be sure that your foundation is secure click here. Next, to stay stedfast you must take advantage of the means the Jesus left us with to grow and to be established by; The Local Bible Believing Church.
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: - Ephesians 4:7-12Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. - Hebrews 10:23-25
The Local Church is the gift that the Lord Jesus left us to remain stedfast. Without the Local Church it is not possible to stay the course. The church can not ever be on the cutting block. What I mean to say is, regardless of what other responsibilities or plans that you may have, Attending your Local Bible Believing Church is a must. If something needs cut out, it can never be attending the Church. Church attendance is non-negotiable, We are commanded to assemble more and more not less and less. Make attending your Local Church the priority that it should be.
Key #2: Dedication to the cause
The second Key that you need to remain stedfast is that you need to be dedicated.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2, And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. - Romans 12:1-2
Sacrifices were things that were devoted to the Lord. We need to present our bodies (our entire being) to the Lord as a living sacrifice. We need to be devoted to the Lord. The question is not, Do I have all that God has to offer? But rather the question is:
Does God have all of Me? Does he have your desires? Does he have your Goals? How about your Dreams? Does God have your life? To do with it as he pleases? After all that he has done and continues to do for us, it is just reasonable that we would dedicate ourselves to him and his cause. Have you dedicated yourself to the Lord?
Key #3: Sense of Duty
The third key that I would like to discuss is your sense of duty. Do you have one?
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. - 2 Timothy 2:3-4
As a Christian, you are called to be a Good Soldier. Not just a Soldier, but a good one. Moreover, we are called to endure hardness. Stop running away every time it gets hard. It is going to get hard, and difficult at times, but we are commanded to endure it and to stay the course. We are told that we are to strive together through the hardships of life. To strive together, we must stay together. We need to hold the line and endure through the rough stuff together. We also need to consider others above ourselves; It’s our duty.
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; - Philippians 1:27-29Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. - Hebrews 12:1-3
We are always to be abounding in the work of the Lord. We need to keep pressing forward and Stay the Course:
Do you get discouraged? Do you get tired of the fight? Ever feel like throwing in the towel?
Of course, you do, but God reminds us:
Don't give up Don't give in Don't throw in the towel Stay stedfast Stay unmovable Stay the course
Strive to keep abounding in the work of the Lord, because you labor is not in vain in the Lord.