In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. Peter 5:10 NLT
Steadfast is not a word we commonly hear nowadays. And yet a few days ago I sensed that is what our compassionate God wants us to know about him right now. As we recognize this quality in him, he will then work it into us as well. I finally sat down to study its meaning and discern why it might be important to Jesus and us, especially now.
The dictionary defines steadfast as “not subject to change, resolute, true, faithful, loyal, firm in belief, determination and adherence”. Have you recognized Jesus working in your life this way?
A favorite verse that uses steadfast is Isaiah 26:3 NIV, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” The New Living Translation says, “… whose thoughts are fixed on you.” Apparently, our job is to fix our thoughts firmly and resolutely on Jesus and he will keep us in perfect peace. That’s a good exchange!
When I sought what the Concordance said about the Hebrew word for steadfast, it seemed to fill in the Lord’s work in us and our response. Among other things, steadfast in the Isaiah verse means “to lean on, rely upon, gain confidence, rest, refresh, gain and give support.” Another word in the Hebrew for steadfast, found mainly in the Psalms, carries the sense of “be prepared, committed, make ready, be determined, devoted.” So, is the Lord saying he is making us ready for what lies ahead by training us to confidently rely on him?
In the NIV translation of the Bible, 1 Peter 5:10 (above) ends in “(the Lord) will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” In that verse “steadfast” in the Greek, carries the meaning of “lay a foundation”. One thing I love about that verse is that it is not me, but God, “he himself”, who will lay that foundation in us and use the suffering that only lasts a little while, so that we can share in his eternal glory. Now, this is a promise we should claim.
I invite you to ponder and talk to God about what he wants you to know about his being steadfast for you, and how he wants to work this godly characteristic into you. It will bless you, as I believe Jesus wants to equip you, not just to endure, but to shine for his glory in all the present trials.
Dear friends, there is a spiritual battle raging and it is intensifying. May you stay close to Christ’s steadfast heart, and be safe under his wings. Do not be dismayed. Look into his devoted eyes of love and experience his unchanging intentions toward you. May you surrender your need to know and trust that he is preparing you for something greater. May you confidently follow his lead to higher spiritual ground. Amen.
Mary Sumner ~ October, 2020