One of my favorite hymns to sing is “He Will Hold Me Fast.” The first lyrics are:
When I fear my faith will fail
Christ will hold me fast
When the tempter would prevail
He will hold me fast
I could never keep my hold
Through life’s fearful path
For my love is often cold
He must hold me fast
Do you ever feel like your faith may fail? Does life ever seem like a fearful path? Do you feel like you are not strong enough to continue to hold onto Christ? Does your love for Jesus grow cold?
Yes, we all certainly walk through seasons where our love is cold, our faith is weak, and our strength wanes. As a Christian, we are weak and in desperate need for Christ (John 15:5). There exists in our life dark, trying, and depressing times that seem to rise as frequent as crashing waves upon the ocean’s shore. In those days, we may wonder about our ability to persevere and to keep hold of Christ by faith.
In the book of Jude, Jude writes, “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy (verse 24).”
God keeps us from stumbling. God keeps us from falling away. God secures us. Our surety is not in our strength to keep hold of Christ, but in Christ’s strength to keep hold of us. We will fail to hold on to Christ. Yet, God “who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6).
Jude 24 doesn’t say that God might keep you from falling. God isn’t going to try really, super-duper hard to keep you from falling. No, He is able to keep you from stumbling. God is able to save to the uttermost (Heb 7:25). Christ Jesus has made you his own (Phil 3:2). God is mighty “with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:12).
As found in Jude 24, God also keeps his people with great joy. He does not begrudgingly hold onto you. A verse that is a constant reminder of this truth is Psalm 149:4, “The Lord takes pleasure in His people.” It pleases God to save. It pleases God to keep his people saved. In verse 2 of “He Will Hold Me Fast,” the opening line is “Those He saves are His delight.” God the Father is delighted to save those He has promised to His Son (John 6:37). We do not have to complete tasks for God to delight in us, but we look to Christ’s life, death, and resurrection to understand that the task has been completed. God takes pleasure in us because of His Son. Christian, God takes pleasure in you and holds you fast.
It is in God’s promise and pleasure the Christian presses on, pursues God, and perseveres in the faith. It is from the safety of our heavenly Father’s compassionate love that we keep ourselves in that love (Jude 21). We operate out of God’s sovereign grace toward us which makes us eager to make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10). He has supplied all we need and continues to supply all we need in Christ His Son. It is in Christ, we see God’s unfailing love and eternal pleasure that rests upon His people.
Your faith may fail, but God doesn’t. It is not the intensity of our faith in which we find security but the object of our faith – – Jesus Christ. God is able, and He alone is able. God keeps those that are his from falling away solely by his grace and because of His good pleasure. We have a promise to cling to! For those in Christ, He will hold us fast!
Listen to “He Will Hold Me Fast”
 vv. 1-2 Ada Habershon (1861-1918), Public Domain. Alt. words, new words (v.3), and music: Matthew Merker