October 19, 2023
From Pastor Eileen States
This month of October our school here at Carman chose to emphasize what it means to remain steadfast in our walk with Jesus. What does it mean to remain steadfast as a Christian in 2023? Does it look differently for us today than it did for those first hearing or reading the words penned in the passages below? Listen to what these authors had to say about remaining steadfast in the first century AD.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast (perseverant) 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 1:12
First century Christians were living through severe persecution for their unwavering faith in Jesus. Those who would not bow the knee to the Emperor were in fear of losing their very lives. One had to count the cost of living another day of life for just choosing to be called a follower of Christ.
Does that sound a little different from what we are faced with today? What would James or the author of Hebrews write to us to encourage us to remain steadfast Christians?
I think of people in the Bible who were willing to remain steadfast in their faith of God at risk of losing their lives. There was Joseph, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, the prophets, the disciples, Paul, and many others. But as I thought about these individuals, I realized that they too had lived everyday lives leading up to their big testing moments. They were making choices in many different circumstances that strengthened them to remain steadfast in the difficult times. And each of these individuals recognized that their God would remain faithful to them through the trials. God was with them, strengthening them through the everyday circumstances as well as the major trials.
Am I making choices in my day to day circumstances that are strengthening me to remain steadfast during the testing times? It is not difficult to listen to the world news and realize we are living in troubled times. How can we as a church family strengthen each other to remain committed, steadfast, unwavering in our walk with Jesus.
I conclude with this quote by the great author Oswald Chambers in his book My Utmost for His Highest.
Perseverance means more than endurance— more than simply holding on until the end. A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, but our Lord continues to stretch and strain, and every once in a while the saint says, “I can’t take any more.” Yet God goes on stretching until His purpose is in sight, and then He lets the arrow fly. Entrust yourself to God’s hands. Is there something in your life for which you need perseverance right now? Maintain your intimate relationship with Jesus Christ through the perseverance of faith. Proclaim as Job did, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15) Oswald Chambers - My Utmost for His Highest
Keep the faith my dear brothers and sisters,