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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Byers


Updated: Oct 13, 2021

There is a wonderful word I’ve been pondering lately: steadfast! It’s of God’s nature; he is steadfast in his love and faithfulness toward us and calls us to be like him. If we are going to finish this race with the Lord we need perseverance - grit, determination, resolution, patient doggedness, tenacity, devotion, no vacillation or feebleness… steadfastness! We are to persevere IN his promises and love, in our desires and dreams and disciplines, excelling more and more. And we are to persevere OUT of disappointments, pressures, lies, mistreatment, while guarding our hearts with all diligence. And, Lord, help us with this, that we are to display steadfastness … with joy! (Col. 1:11)

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison in South Africa because of the racial equality of apartheid, becoming a symbol of dignity to all Africans. My friend and fellow-counselor, Dr. Jerry Mungadze, once met and asked Nelson Mandela: “How did you do that day after day?” He replied: “My job was to peacefully protest that people should not be oppressed. Every day I said: ‘This is a day of protest.’” He persevered steadfastly in that goal and his patient endurance bore the fruit of hard-won freedoms. There is reward for steadfastness.

King David wrote in Psalm 26:1b “I have trusted in the Lord without wavering” [lit: I do not slide]. He also asked God in Psalm 51:10 to “renew a steadfast spirit” within him. There is steadfast and continual turning to the Lord that must happen in our discipleship, a turning without wavering, sliding or giving up. To stay steadfast, to maintain a position before the Lord and others, we have to be anchored to his word and his faithfulness so we don’t swerve from the race we are called to. This is not a teeth-gritting vigilance but an awareness of his poured-out grace. We grow in grace so that we can be steadfast (2 Pet. 3:17-18). 1 Cor. 15:58 gives us an imperative: be steadfast, stand firm, let nothing move you. Continually and resolutely choosing to stay the course in the race solidifies our steadfastness and enables us to abound in it even more.

When our heart is steadfast we won’t fear “evil tidings” (Ps. 112:7), we will be abundantly fruitful (Luke 8:15) and we will be kept in the “hour of testing” (Rev. 3:10). So as we keep turning to the Lord, setting him before us, may he direct our “hearts into the love and God and into the steadfastness of Christ” (2 Thess. 3:5).

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