By Debbie Hansen
STEADFAST – loyal, faithful, committed, devoted, dedicated, dependable, steady, true, resolute, unchanging, unhesitating, unfaltering!
O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart. 1 Kings 8:23
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
As you think of the steadfast love of the Lord, what difference does it make in your life? Does it have any impact in your response to the pressures and storms of life?
David has been an encouragement to me as I meditate on his trust in God’s steadfast love. David faced many adversaries and sharp criticism during his life. The pressure and threats from those around him felt like being in the midst of lions and fiery beasts. The opinions and words of others were hurtful and pierced like swords (Psalm 57). At times he wondered where God was and how He was going to fulfill His promises. Yet as he thought on God’s steadfast love, his heart was strengthened, and he took refuge in the Most High through the storms of life.
For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved. Psalm 21:7
Recalling the steadfast love of the Most High made a tremendous difference as David faced the pressures, hurts, and temptations of the world. It was his anchor and caused his heart to be steadfast.
We do not know what the days ahead will look like.
What will the lions or fiery beasts in our lives look like?
With all that is happening in the world, is the Lord’s return this year? This month? This summer?
Will we be asked to endure suffering or persecution in the years ahead?
Will we hold fast to the truth of scripture, or will we tend to soften or overlook certain verses so that we do not “offend” others?
Are we fearful of being called intolerant?
Are we going to widen the road?
Will we drift – ever so slightly to soften the blow?
We are not naturally prone to be steadfast. In our flesh, when faced with the pressures of the world around us, we are tempted to drift away from our Rock. We are not much different than the early Hebrew Christians who were facing pressures from the culture to go back to their old ways or to embrace beliefs and practices other than Jesus and His Word. The tendency of all individuals and all organizations is to drift – especially amid pressure and persecution from those around us. The pressure may be very subtle at first, but then suddenly we find ourselves adrift and far from the truth of the Gospel.
Therefore, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1
What helps you and me to pay much closer attention to what we have heard?
Sitting under the faithful teaching of the whole counsel of God. The regular proclamation of Scripture that is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16)
The encouragement and exhortation of brothers and sisters in Christ
Regular time in the Word, prayer, fasting, confession, and repentance
Praise, Worship, and Thanksgiving
Some may even add Trials!
Perhaps it can be summarized best by, looking to Jesus and remembering His great love for us in the Gospel. This is a love that transforms, strengthens, and holds us steadfast amid the storms of life.
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! Psalm 57:7-11
Because of His STEADFAST LOVE, our hearts can be STEADFAST – He is our rock, our fortress, our anchor, our covenant keeping God.
For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness. Psalm 26:3
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. I Corinthians 15:58