"Make fast" is a nautical term for securing something with a line, as making fast a boat to a dock. "Make fast" and "fix" and "support" lie behind the Greek New Testament word translated "strengthen" and "establish" in the following verses:
"For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you" (Romans 1:11; the NKJV says "establish").
". . . and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's coworker in the gospel to Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith" (1 Thessalonians 3:2).
Isn't it interesting that Paul and Timothy in these verses have made a long road trip over pockmarked dirt roads (almost 200 years before the half-decent Appian Way), not for commerce, not for conquest-but entirely to "strengthen" and "establish" the faith of other believers? What kind of goal is that?
And Paul couldn't wait to do it. He said he "longed" to go to Rome. Not to convert these people (they were already converted), but for the sole purpose of imparting "strength." You would think, for all his eagerness, that he was imparting smartphones. What is "strength," after all? You can't see it or taste it. Is it even real?
May the Lord send each of you this year a friend like Paul or Timothy, with a faith that is "established," and who cares about your being "made fast" too. A "made fast" faith holds firm in any wind of circumstance. After the storm passes, it is still holding on. A friend like that doesn't let you get away with things. He exhorts you to "continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard" (Colossians 1:23). He likes to "hear . . . that you are standing firm . . ." (Philippians 1:27). In fact, he models it for you himself.
King David had a friend like that in Jonathan. "Jonathan, son of Saul, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God" (1 Samuel 23:16). He did it not by talking political strategy but truth.
Happy New Year's. Be intentional about your conversations. If you are traveling many miles to be with someone, go like Paul and Timothy and Jonathan: Impart words that help "establish" or "make fast" your loved ones' faith.
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