Hello friends and family, and God bless you all. I was chatting with a good blogging friend last night and the conversation turned to our favorite hymns. I immediately thought of my Grandma and the hymn she would often sing when I was a young boy. It is always a great encouragement to me to stand up strong for Jesus whenever I think of her singing it, and I pray my Grandma’s favorite hymn encourages you to stand up strong for Jesus as well.
The hymn my Grandma would sing is called “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus.” It was written by Presbyterian Minister and Evangelist George Duffield, Jr. in 1858. Mr. Duffield was a strong and zealous abolitionist during the American Civil War, and his legacy records that he stood firm as a true soldier for Christ. The inspiration for the hymn came from the dying words of his friend and fellow preacher and abolitionist Dudley Atkins Tyng.
“George Duffield, Jr. was inspired to write this text after hearing the dying words of a Presbyterian colleague, Dudley A. Tyng. Ousted from his own congregation for his strong anti-slavery stance, Tyng preached to large crowds in weekday meetings sponsored by the YMCA. His work spearheaded an evangelical revival in Philadelphia early in 1858. At Tyng’s deathbed, caused by a farm accident in which he lost an arm, Duffield and others asked if he had any final message. Tyng replied, “Tell them to stand up for Jesus!” At Tyng’s memorial service on April 25, 1858, Duffield preached on Ephesians 6:14 and concluded his sermon by reading his new hymn text, “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus.” Several lines in that original text referred to Tyng’s words and ministry. The six-stanza text was first distributed in leaflet form and then was published in The Church Psalmist (1859).”
George Duffield, Jr. was a graduate of Yale College and Union Theological Seminary, and throughout his time he served as a Minster in 8 Presbyterian churches in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Michigan (Hymnary.org). Interestingly enough, the town in which he served in Illinois is Galesburg, which is the town of my birth and where most of my family still lives today. My Grandma Audrey, My Grandpa Ed, and my parents all attended the Presbyterian church in Galesburg, so it makes sense that my Grandma loved his hymn. George served in the Presbyterian church in Galesburg shortly after the Civil War from 1865 to 1869. My parents actually live in a house that was built just 20 years after the Civil War in the late 1800s that is just down the road from the church. It is a blessing to be connected to such a rich history and Christian legacy!
The words to this hymn are inspiring, and are just as relevant in our time of turmoil here in America as they were back in the days of the Civil War. As followers of Jesus, we are God’s soldiers suited up in His armor to do battle against evil. We stand redeemed and victorious in His Blood, and we carry the Gospel to a dying world who hates and opposes us. As you read the words of this hymn, may it give you strength to press on and stand up strong for Jesus!
“1 Stand up, stand up for Jesus
ye soldiers of the cross;
lift high his royal banner,
it must not suffer loss:
from vict’ry unto vict’ry
his army he shall lead,
’til ev’ry foe is vanquished,
and Christ is Lord indeed.
2 Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the trumpet call obey;
forth to the mighty conflict
in this his glorious day:
ye that are men now serve him
against unnumbered foes;
let courage rise with danger,
and strength to strength oppose.
3 Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
stand in his strength alone;
the arm of flesh will fail you,
ye dare not trust your own:
put on the gospel armor,
each piece put on with pray’r;
where duty calls, or danger,
be never wanting there.
4 Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the strife will not be long;
this day the noise of battle,
the next the victor’s song:
to him that overcometh
a crown of life shall be;
he with the King of glory
shall reign eternally.
-Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #542, Hymnary.org
What a truly beautiful and powerful hymn! As was stated, George wrote the hymn with Ephesians 6 in mind, which encourages us to put on the full armor of God so that we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
The day of evil has come in America and this world, and we must stand up for Jesus. We must stand firm in Him, and speak the truth no matter how many foes of darkness we face. No matter the consequence, we must stand firm!
“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs–he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.”
-2 Timothy 2:1-7
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.”
-1 Corinthians 16:13-14
“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”
-2 Timothy 4:1-5
Truly, we are living in a time where men will not put up with sound doctrine. They have turned their ears away from the truth. They call evil good and good evil. Now is the time we must keep our heads, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and discharge all the duties of the ministry God has given us. We must be strong and courageous in His love, and stand firm in the faith! As Jesus commanded us before He ascended into Heaven:
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
My Grandma taught me to stand up for Jesus like a good soldier of Christ. As she got older and it was harder for her to stand up from a sitting position, she would put her hand on a table to brace herself and as she stood up she would sing, “Stand up, stand up for Jesus!” I will never forget that, and I am forever grateful for her love and the wisdom she imparted on me. When I came to Jesus at the age of 18 in 1996, I was coming out of drugs, alcohol, and atheism. I didn’t know any theology or doctrine. I was not well versed in the Bible. I just knew I needed Jesus and I came running to Him, and He saved my soul.
“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
“for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
The Lord Jesus made me who I am today, and my victory is in Him alone. As we see evil spread throughout our country, let us remember the words of the beautiful hymn “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus,” and let courage rise with danger. Put on the Gospel armor, the strife will not be long. This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To him who overcomes, a crown of life shall be, he with the King of glory, shall reign eternally!
Grace and peace to you all!