1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
In his book, Starting Over, Charles R. Swindoll wrote about boyhood vacations at his grandfather’s cottage near the Gulf in South Texas. Coats, the family cook, was friendly and unique. While barbecuing one day, the loquacious hired man, after sharing some of his ups and downs, knelt down to the lad’s height and said: “Little Charles, the hardest thing about life is that it’s so daily.” Yes, there is a daily grind to life that we all must endure and with God’s help we can face each day this New Year with optimism and hope.
Each New Year brings its share of trials and triumphs. Like every year, we will be presented with situations and circumstances that set us back, immobilize us for a time or elevate us to the next level. It’s our response to obstacles or opportunities that will define 2018. The Apostle Paul understood the transitory and difficult nature of life and our need to remain resolute in making each day count for God’s glory. He gives us words of encouragement that help us to stay focused on the journey ahead.
BE STEADFAST – In this context, “steadfast” means to be determined and unwavering in your mind about what you believe. Paul used the word, “steadfast” because he knew we would encounter a steady assault on our values and beliefs in a world system diabolically opposed to the will of God. However, this assault would come; first, from within as we all have the propensity to doubt in the dark what we heard in the light. The fight to stand firmly fixed on God’s good intentions towards us takes place on the battlefield of our minds. To remain steadfast in our faith toward God requires we rehearse over and over promises like the one given in Romans 8:38-39:
“…nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. What we believe about God’s love and His awesome plan for us requires we recognize God’s steadfastness toward us.”
We must remember what is declared about our God in Deuteronomy 7:9:
"Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands."
As you face this New Year with all its possibilities for disappointments and successes, remain firm in your resolve to trust God, remembering He is steadfast in His commitment toward you.
1) What have you heard the Lord say in the light that you have forgotten in a dark season?
2) What have you been battling in your mind?
3) What trial have you faced that ended in your elevation? Steadfast faith prevails!