- March 20, 2020
- Jessica Fields
As much as I plan and prepare, I am not always steadfast. My thoughts, opinions, hopes, and dreams waver, and though I resolve to squash sin, I do not succeed.
But “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end.” (Lamentations 3:22)
This verse in Lamentations, sandwiched between lament and sorrow and destruction, is one I come back to often, and it greatly influenced my decision to focus on God’s steadfastness this year.
Scripture is chock-full of references to God’s steadfast love, and as someone who wavers (read: as a human being), I need to be constantly reminded that the One who loves me does not waver, does not retreat, does not give up.
2 Peter 3:9 tells us that “The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
And John 10 invites us to recall the Good Shepherd, who knows His sheep and calls them by name.
This steadfast love is powerful. It is a love that knows, and remains. A love that is scorned, and holds fast. A love that waits and does not give up.
And as much as I want to grow in this, this beautiful character trait, I didn’t choose ‘steadfast’ as a word because I wanted to challenge myself. While we ought to imitate Christ, we will never be Christ, and while I want to imitate God’s steadfastness, I will never hold a candle to His steady, patient, unwavering love. Rather than focusing on becoming more steadfast, I focus on the One who already is.
When I feel unworthy, I remember that God, in keeping to a plan He began before creation, loved me to the point of death on a cross. That kind of steadfast love will make a person feel worthy, hey? And when I feel hopeless, I remember that the all-powerful God, who has always stuck to His plans, invites me into bringing His kingdom to earth. How’s that for a steadfast hope?
When I feel dirty, marred by sin, I remember that Christ said It is Finished, and that my God is a God whose word can be trusted. If my steadfast God says It is Finished, it is, and my sin is washed away.
But I sometimes waver even in my belief in God. I have had seasons of great faith, years of tepid belief, and months of near agnosticism. I have seen God in times of great joy, and perhaps even more greatly, in seasons of deep sorrow. But praise God that my salvation is secure, and my wavering does not alter His steadfast love for me.
As I’ve reflected on God’s steadfast love, the hymn “It is Well with My Soul” comes to mind:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
The steadfast love the Lord never ceases
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
His mercies never come to an end
My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
Great is your faithfulness.
And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
Before discussion God’s steadfastness, the author of Lamentations says this: My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:”
If I am steadfast in one thing, may it be this: that I call to mind the patient, unwavering, strong and mighty love of God, and therefore I have hope.