Tag Archives: endurance

Hold the Fort | Bible Gleanings – March 5-6, 2022

The frightening thunder of artillery fire rattled slumbering Union soldiers at daybreak on October 5, 1864. The march of Confederate soldiers shook the ground as they rallied to seize the Union supply depot at Allatoona Pass. General Samuel G. French ordered his men to pound the Union fort with a hailstorm of shells and a merciless spray of gunfire while he moved north to enclose the garrison. Convinced he had the upper hand, French sent a note to John M. Corse, the Union general commanding the sought-after fort: “To avoid a needless effusion of blood, I call on you to surrender your forces at once and unconditionally. Five minutes will be allowed you to decide.” And before the clock ran out, Corse gave his answer: “Bring it on.”

French moved in to tighten the noose and unleash hell. Bullets smacked the dirt and Union soldiers knelt for cover. The crack of rifles grew louder as Confederate soldiers drew nearer.  And as pressure to surrender mounted, Union General William T. Sherman sent a message to Corse that read, “Hold the fort; for I am coming!” French withdrew by four o’clock, unable to break the stouthearted resolve of the Union soldiers and the fortitude of Sherman’s reinforcements.[1] This left the Union in possession of the rations and ammunition the Confederates desperately needed to tip the scales of the Civil War in their favor.

The Commander of heaven’s armies, the Lord Jesus Christ, sends the same message to all of His beleaguered and faithful saints: “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Rev. 3:11). The devil’s bombardments may cause us to flee for cover (Eph. 6:16). The increasing number of those abandoning the Lord’s faithful army may cause us to feel outnumbered (1 Tim. 4:1). Trials and tribulations may hedge us in, causing us to despair for victory and relief (Psalm 13:1-2). But Jesus calls us to “hold the fort,” because He is coming soon to bring reinforcements.

Stay on the battlefield, for Jesus is coming to vanquish Satan and the kingdom of darkness (Rev. 20:10). Wield the sword of Scripture against false teaching, for the Truth is coming to send the “father of lies” scurrying in hopeless retreat (John 8:44; 14:6; Rev. 19:11). Stand firm in this hostile world, for the King is coming to subdue His enemies by the mere appearance of His glorious presence (2 Thess. 2:8). Fight for faith in your trials, for Christ is coming to trample pain, tears, and death once and for all (Rev. 21:4).

It is no wonder that Phillip P. Bliss wrote in 1870:

“Ho, my comrades, see the signal, waving in the sky!

Reinforcements now appearing, victory is nigh.

“Hold the fort, for I am coming,” Jesus signals still;

Wave the answer back to heaven, “By thy grace we will.”[2]



[1] Historians disagree on the timing of General Sherman’s reinforcements, but agree that Union victory at Allatoona would likely have been impossible without them—no matter when they arrived.

[2] Hymn-writer Phillip P. Bliss composed this chorus in the hymn Hold the Fort, which was inspired by the events that transpired at the Battle of Allatoona Pass during the Civil War.

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

Fruit in the Ashes | Bible Gleanings – May 22-23, 2021

Fruit in the Ashes

It turns out that grapes love volcanoes—specifically the ash that volcanoes emit. Vineyard farmers in Spain’s Canary Islands have discovered and capitalized on this strange situation. Eighty miles from the sandy beaches of Lanzarote lies a charcoal landscape formed by volcanic eruptions from the 1730’s. There are enough craters and jagged hills on the island to make you think you’re on the Moon. The only difference is that this Spanish terrain is engulfed in black ash, and there are undeniable signs of life—namely, hundreds of farmers picking over 2.6 million pounds of grapes annually.

How do grapes grow in such a sooty wasteland? According to Mónica R. Goya, a New York Times journalist who visited the island, the magic is in the dirt. The ash prevents erosion, retains moisture, and regulates ground temperature. It also has nourishing soil beneath it, and there are plenty of old cinders to make pits for the grapevines to protect them from violent winds. Incredibly, fruit can grow even in the ashes.

The Bible declares the same truth. The apostle James once wrote that the fruit of endurance grows best in the ashes of trials and tribulations:

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness [or endurance]. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).

Christian, do you feel like your life is in ashes? Perhaps the news of an unexpected diagnosis has left you feeling like your life is a dark and crumbling wasteland. Maybe the abrupt passing of a loved one has made you feel like a volcano of pain and grief erupted upon your once-joyful life. It may be that loneliness has buried your happiness and cheer, like ash concealing thousands of acres that used to be beautiful. You may feel like Job when he cried, “God has cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes” (Job 30:19).

Whatever volcanic trial has erupted in your life, the Lord promises that tribulation is the best soil for endurance. Sometimes He permits a volcano to rupture to plant you in the ideal place to trust Him and His plan for your life. God uses adversity to deepen your faith and strengthen your spiritual muscles. To be sure, troubles and trials aren’t pretty—they are painful. But God is cultivating the beautiful fruit of endurance in the midst of your afflictions, and that is reason to rejoice. As Paul stated, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance” (Romans 5:3).


Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

The Loveless Church (Rev. 2:1-7)

The following sermon was delivered at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky, on the 29th day of April 2018, during the morning service:


profile pic5Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their two dogs, Susie and Aries.