MEANS: confirm or support (something that has been questioned); maintain (a custom or practice)
FROM: Middle English up and hold (hold is partly from Old Norse hald: hold, support, custody)
BIBLE VERSE: “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations.” (Isaiah 42:1)
THOUGHTS: What do you ‘uphold’? Values? Rights? Freedoms? The flag? Virtue? I notice that the original Norse hald has the connotation of ‘custody’ as well as supporting. In that sense, when we uphold something or someone, we are in custody, in charge, or a steward of that thing.
Our verse is from Isaiah where God is talking about the one ‘I uphold…my chosen’. While in Isaiah this refers to the Suffering Servant, it also could refer to each of us. Every living thing is upheld by God’s love and chosen to act in the world. God has custody, charge, stewardship of our lives. We do not have to stress, because God has chosen us and loves us...no matter what!
PRAYER: Loving Father, help me to trust that you uphold me in all events of my life. You are there in things I think are ‘bad’ and those I count as ‘good’ or blessings. All are yours and we are in your hand.
MEANS: an act of defeating an enemy or opponent in a battle, game, or other competition
FROM: Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French victorie, from Latin victoria
BIBLE VERSE: But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 15:57)
THOUGHTS: I don’t know about you, but I often think of victory more in terms of military might, than in a playful game. For others, even the contest of a game can be a struggle for ultimate ‘victory’. Currently there are men and women contesting to ‘win the victory’ and the prize of election.
In the letter to the Corinthians, Paul specifies that God ‘gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ’. What is this a victory from or over? In the verses before, Paul talks about our ultimate resurrection when “the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised…” (Echoes of the trumpets in this passage from Handel’s Messiah in my head!) He says that “Death is swallowed up in victory.” Verse 57 affirms that we have victory over sin and death in Christ. Christ’s Resurrection has ‘won for us the victory’. There are in fact at least 34 verses in the Bible telling of God’s work in bringing a victory for God’s people. As we enter the last couple of weeks before Easter, it is a reminder of the price paid so that the Love of God could win such a victory.
PRAYER: Victorious God, help me to remember that in You I have victory over all things that might make me afraid. You are in charge and lead us to victory over the ultimate enemy-death.
You may want to list in your journal some of the things you ‘uphold’ as important.
Are there things that make you afraid? Write them or draw them in your journal and then write VICTORY over them.Consider the idea that you are upheld by God and that gives you victory over all things.