Steadfast

1 Corinthians 15:58

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.

James 1:12

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

James 1:2-4

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Psalm 112:7

He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.

Steadfast. Unwavering. Disciplined. Devoted. Loyal.
LORD, thank you for YOUR steadfast love. Thank you that YOU are served, loyal, and unwavering in YOUR love for us. We are shamed, even humiliated by the strength of your example beside the weakness of our own — if we are courageous enough to examine ourselves closely, truthfully, and honestly. We fall short and we are not the perfect ones yet that you have promised you are reconciling us to be. But we are following you, LORD. So we are no longer little unsturdy babes who cannot walk upright at all. Teach us your way, LORD. Come live in us so that we can say with confidence, “It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Show your steadfast love, your holiness, the very fruit of your nature in the life song that we live today and forevermore, as a testimony of your glory and honor and favor and mercy towards your children. Amen.

Not a Sprint, but a Marathon

I have spent much of my life chasing after one thing or another – interested in one hobby then another, or one lustful interest then another. And while I was interested, it got my full attention – focused and intense. I was blown by the wind of my desires in reckless abandon that carried me through all kinds of intense pleasures and hurtful consequences. 

But chasing my ever shifting desires left me many times drained – emotionally, financially, and physically. It was not a stable, sturdy, and content life, because I always wanted more. Nothing was ever “good enough”. Whether it was cars, or mountain bikes, or women, or sex, or pornography, or drugs, or alcohol – it always left me thirsty for more. I always wanted to be better or have better. Some thought that I was very ambitious – I’d argue now that I didn’t know where to find any lasting joy and I was searching, searching, searching.

Lord , my heart is not proud;
my eyes are not haughty.
I don’t concern myself with matters too great
or too awesome for me to grasp.
Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself,
like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.
Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord — now and always.
Psalms 131:1‭-‬3 NLT

Contentment.

Calming and quieting our desires.

Freeing ourselves from hungering and thirsting for worldliness, from always wanting more, from not being joyful about the now because we are more focused on what might be tomorrow.

How often do we let our dreams of “some day” get in the way of this “one day” we have in our hands right now?

And it is foolish to either waste our day in worry or in too much worrisome planning for “making tomorrow better” – when we have today to engorged and be thankful for. When there will be so many opportunities today to say, “Thank you, Lord, for your many blessings over my life.”

You are where you are today for a reason. There will be opportunities to either be thankful and content while continuing to move steadily forward – or to be dissatisfied whether you are ruining full tilt or sliding backwards. Set your eyes on the finish line and pace yourself, friends. It isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.