For the past few years I have been challenged by several of my writing peers to choose one word for the year to focus on. To choose a word or words to incorporate into everyday living that will sharpen my thinking ,Bible reading and prayer life. In the past I’ve used “Choose Joy” “Behold” “Be Still” and “Grace”. This year I will focus on “Steadfast“. It means: firmly fixed in place, immovable, not subject to change. The word was first used in battle contexts to describe warriors who stood their ground. (common dictionary) It also means to be firm in belief and determination, loyal and faithful.
The Bible uses the word to mean to be unwavering in your faith. Being steadfast means we won’t let circumstances dictate our idea of God. God is God and bigger than our problems no matter what we think or feel. Trusting that He knows better than we do gives peace of mind.
Isaiah 26:3–4 (ESV)
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
There are many stories about people who remained steadfast even during horrific circumstances in the Bible. An old favorite of mine is Daniel. Captured and transported from Israel to Babylon as a teenager he and a few friends were pressed into service of the King. They determined to be the best workers they could be but would never compromise their faith. Daniel served several different kings throughout his lifetime and despite an immpecable record there were always others in the court who were jealous and tried to get rid of him.
Daniel 6:4–5 (ESV)
4Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. 5Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”
The officials found a way to trap him by tricking the king to make a decree against praying to any God except the king. Daniel refused to stop praying or hide and was thrown in a lions den. God protected Daniel all night long. I honestly don’t know if I would have that much faith and courage. God is always faithful and we can trust in His goodness despite how things look.
Deuteronomy 7:9–10 (ESV)
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
1 Corinthians 15:58 (ESV)
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 1:2–4 (ESV)
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.
For Daniel, there was no room for compromise. He did his job in serving the king with excellence but obeyed the Lord above all else no matter what the cost. He may have been able to return to Jerusalem with the other exiles but stayed where God placed him. Daniel trusted God and fully believed the scriptures even in the face of death. He knew that ultimately God was in control. From his example and many others we are challenged to remain steadfast. It is too easy to compromise on what we believe or look around and feel like God isn’t paying attention. Will you dare to be like Daniel?