". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


‘You Have to Push Through’: Two Faithful Testimonies to Standing Firm on the Word

September 18, 2023

The Omni Shoreham Hotel, elegant and large, came alive during Family Research Council’s 2023 Pray Vote Stand Summit. Smiling faces roamed the corridors as like-minded individuals enjoyed sweet fellowship. But this was a weekend of learning. FRC President Tony Perkins made it clear in his opening remarks: It’s about praying, voting and standing — all on the Word of God; all on biblical principles.

It was encouraging to hear the speakers — many of whom work for our government — fighting for faith, family, and freedom to reign again in our nation. Between promoting strong fathers and men, fighting for life, children, and women, and worshipping together as one body, it was an edifying weekend, to say the least.

An overwhelmingly frequent point of discussion revolved around our children. It is no secret they are the target of many vicious attacks from the enemy. But two individuals, Jacob Kersey and Sophia Lorey, spoke at the Friday night student mixer, bringing immense hope to the stage through their stories and their wisdom.

I entered the room for the mixer and was pleasantly surprised to see it filled with young people. A room full of the very people being targeted by the enemy and to be equipped to stand firm. The event was hosted by David Closson, FRC’s director of the Center for Biblical Worldview, and he began the session with a set of questions before opening a Q&A for those attending to ask their own. But first, some context is in order.

Jacob Kersey is a young man who recently resigned from a law enforcement position in a small Georgia town. His dream job was quickly stripped away from him when he answered the call to stand for truth. A simple Facebook post, made on his personal account, sent his life in an unexpected direction. Kersey posted that marriage is created by God between a man and a woman, and there is no such thing as a homosexual marriage. This caused havoc among those threatened by such truth. In short, Kersey was asked to remove the post and refrain from posting similar things again or lose his job. It wasn’t the easy route, but Kersey decided to resign.

Sophia Lorey is a young lady who advocates for protecting women’s sports. She started playing soccer when she was four, and the recent trend of men being allowed to compete in women’s sports, for Lorey, is intolerable. Her story took an infamous turn in a public library in August, in a city she described to be as “one of the most spiritually dark places in California.” She was asked to speak but was quickly shut down due to “misgendering.” Protestors claimed she was spouting “hate speech” and, eventually, Lorey had to leave the premises — regardless of her First Amendment right to free speech.

Both Kersey and Lorey, by standing firm on the Word of God, have lost friends, jobs, and been insulted continuously by those who hate truth. So, what did these two individuals have to share with the young crowd before them? What was their advice for how to stand firm when inevitable trials come?

“God has a purpose to raise up his people at the right time and the right place to encourage other believers to take a stand,” Kersey said. Despite how God decides to act, nothing is more important than proclaiming Christ. Ultimately, you must believe that “God’s plans are always greater,” he added. Kersey shared how God had clearly been using his life up to this point to prepare him for trials. “God is doing a thousand different things to display His glory in our lives,” he said. “His hand [is] in everything.” Kersey noted, “there aren’t going to be police officers in heaven,” but what we do for Christ is eternal.

Lorey expounded on the dichotomy between fearing man and fearing God. “Men will always fail us, but God never will,” she said. “We see trials as hard things. … [but] we should see them as things pulling us closer to Christ.” She shared how her dad was diagnosed with cancer when she was 12 years old. It was at this time in her life that she sought the Lord for comfort, and she found it in Jeremiah 29:11. This verse helped her to realize how often trials make us doubt God, yet He promised His plans were not to harm us. Lorey emphasized fearing man as the path to failure and fearing God as the key to perseverance and victory.

During the Q&A, a young lady asked if they ever felt discouraged or wanted to give up. Lorey noted how if people hate us, the Bible makes it clear they hated Jesus first. “If you know that, then you know you have to push through,” she said. “They are lost souls looking for something to fill.” They want truth but are blinded to it. They want freedom but are bonded to sin. We, however, have an opportunity to be that light.

As the discussion ended, Kersey and Lorey emphasized the necessity of being in the Word. “We see almost nothing,” Lorey said. “But God sees it all.” We need to draw as close to Him as possible. It is the only way we can stand firm in times of trial — by being in His Word and keeping our gaze fixed upon Him.

In a comment to The Washington Stand, Closson shared how the event impacted him and how he hopes those who attended were affected. “I was tremendously encouraged by the student mixer. … At a time when very few young adults from Gen Z have a biblical worldview, I was thrilled that over 130 young adults came to be equipped … for the current challenges facing Christians in the public square. My prayer is that they will go back to their states and spheres of influence and continue to stand for their biblically based convictions.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.