08 Feb STEADFAST – An unwavering faith and unyielding love for the Gospel
Are you standing firm in your parenting, consistent and resolute, or unsteady and unreliable? What about in marriage – how do you react when you feel frustrated, exhausted, or don’t feel you have been adequately loved by your spouse? Do you find that you waver between discouragement, anger, sadness, or even shame? How do you react when someone you love is suffering? Are you hopeful or hopeless?
Paul writes, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58) Do you know what you are working towards or for? In Colossians 3:23, Paul reminds us that whatever we do, we should do it for the Lord while giving thanks to Him.
Much of this depends on where our perspective is focused. Are we more focused on ourselves and the present, or God and eternity? Where is our hope? In getting likes on social media, relationships, success, power, money, well-behaved children, abilities, our house, car – in “stuff”? In Romans 8:24-25 Paul writes about our eternal hope, hope that is unseen, and he encourages us to wait for it eagerly, with perseverance. C.S. Lewis said, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
Truly, we were made for another world, but while we are here, we can remain steadfast in our faith by increasing our knowledge of God’s character and faithfulness. We can stand firm now in believing that Jesus died for our sins and that we have a new life in Him through His resurrection, – but there is another life, another world, that we are meant for. Until we are reunited with our sovereign Creator and loving, gracious Father, we are in a battle here. We have a never-ending battle that we have to fight – we must stand firm and be steadfast.
Our fight against is against this world. In 1 John 2:15-16 we are told, “Do not love the world or anything in the world…For everything in the world—lust and pride, come from the world.” We are constantly in battle with what this world tells us we need, but we can combat this by focusing on faithfulness to God and remaining in His will. Jesus says, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Matthew 16:26) Paul gives us sound advice on remaining steadfast in our battle against the world, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
Our fight is against the enemy. Peter tells us that the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). We live in a fallen world and our enemy is the father of lies. He wants to ruin our marriages, our relationships with our children, trust in our workplace. He wants to convince us God is not good and is holding out on us, disobedience is not a problem, and that we deserve to be like God. To be steadfast, we have to know how to do battle first. Paul gave us precise instructions in Ephesians 6, “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…”
Our fight is against our flesh. Have you wondered why you constantly have those thoughts in your mind about indulging yourself and giving yourself whatever you want because you deserve it? Paul contrasts our flesh and sinfulness with the fruits that come from abiding in the Spirit in Galatians 5:16-17, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Romans 8:5 gives us more clarity, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” We can be steadfast in our fight against the world by following Jesus’ instructions in Luke 9:23, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
Our steadfastness is unwavering faith and unyielding love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ until the day Christ comes back. Prayer is powerful. We can not change this world, control others, prevent hardships, or end suffering, but we can pray fervently to the One who can. And we need to be on our knees praying every single day.
Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” God’s power gives us strength and we have a responsibility with what God has already given to resist the enemy’s attempts. We have all that we need.
Now ready yourself, remain steadfast, and let’s go fight the good fight, together!
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you think about the topic of steadfastness:
1. Where do you find yourself seeking to find hope and fulfillment?
2. How does our future hope encourage you to remain steadfast in your faith?
3. Which battle do you feel most at war against (this world, the enemy, your flesh)?