The past month or so, the word “steadfast” has been on my heart. Reading through Colossians last month, the importance Paul places on staying steadfast kept standing out as he admonished and prayed for the Colossian church. He leaves the instructions to:
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” – Colossians 3:16 (NASB)
Isn’t it great that not only does Paul stress the importance of staying steadfast, but he also tells us how to do it? There will be plenty of things that try to distract us, but the Word of God and sincere Christian community help us stay focused on and encouraged in the truth.
Next, I read through the beginning of Genesis. It amazed me how simply the account of creation explains God’s power. He spoke, and it was. No arguments, no “what if’s” or fearful doubts, just His word and its completion:
“Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” – Genesis 1:3 (NASB)
Now, I find myself in Deuteronomy. Moses is recounting the history of Israel, the good and the bad, and yet again there is testimony of both God’s faithfulness and His power. His patience and His love. His righteousness and also His mercy.
As I read through, I thought about writing something about how trustworthy He is, how intentional every step of His plans are, and how nothing is too strong, crafty, or overwhelming for Him to handle. And all of that is true… if He’s spoken it, it’s done. His word doesn’t return to Him void.
But do you know what stands out even more than His promises to us, His strength as He fights for us, and His wisdom as He directs our steps? Him.
Old or New Testament, His character stays the same. He protects, He strengthens, He disciplines, and He heals. He leads out, He welcomes in, He carries. He forgives, He restores, He lifts up, and He loves with a depth we can only barely grasp.
I guess what I’m trying to get at is that all of the above mentioned passages have great examples of what God does for those who trust Him, but even more than that, they show a consistent God who loves His people dearly. And they show how He has so patiently pursued people who are constantly getting distracted and doubting Him. They show how time and time again, He clears the way for people to follow Him, if only they’ll choose to.
All of those promises He gives us are amazing, and they are something to celebrate and hold on to. But, all of those promises aside, we get Him. We get to rest knowing we are loved and that He is God. All glory belongs to Him, so our anxious striving can quiet down. He makes it happen, not us. His will, His way (which is a good thing). Regardless of whether what we’re hoping for happens or not, we still get to do life with our Best Friend. Requests paused for even just a moment, we rest when our focus is on Him.
Whatever it is that’s on your heart today, be encouraged that God loves you. If you’ve given your life to Him, that’s exactly what you are: His. He died so you could live. He suffered so you could come freely to Him. He was broken so you could heal. In every area. Even the ones that you’ve found a roundabout, bandaid way to be ok in. He let Himself become an outcast, so you could be welcomed in.
Nothing is too much for Him, but even more than that, you have Him to run to. We have a Best Friend who loves us dearly and is ready and willing to do life with us; we just need to be willing to trust Him and listen.
Here’s to our journey!
Music for the journey: Throne Room by Kim Walker-Smith has been getting me lately. Check it out here:
“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalms 46:10 (NASB)
His consistent character is what I hold onto every single day. Thank you for this reminder that I can trust Him because of who He is, not because of what He chooses to do!