There is a single word that has anchored my God-adventure over the last year: steadfast. While the English word can sound dusty and archaic, as it’s not one we commonly use, there’s a lot to it. Our translation comes from a variety of related Greek and Hebrew words, so the concept is threaded through both the Old and New Testaments. When we truly understand the power of this characteristic that God is both sure to have and has surely given us, we can stay the course and go the distance in this journey called life.
I’ve collected 10 verses to share what steadfastness is and have something to stick to for the long haul:
“He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” Hebrews 11:26 ESV
This verse speaks of Moses, who was said to be “looking to the reward”. That root word is apoblépō, meaning:
• to turn the eyes away from other things and fix them on some one thing
• to look at attentively
• to look with steadfast mental gaze
It places emphasis on leaving the old behind, a complete break with the past, and focusing on God’s next step. In the times of Jesus, when Hebrews was written, that word would have been associated with an astronomer who observes the heavens with extreme focus, or a painter who fixes his gaze on his subject, constantly taking in every detail.
This is the life God has called us to! It’s a focused, purposeful, bright-future and worries behind us kind of adventure. Its a life of endurance; of finishing what we start, and finishing strong. That is because that is exactly the characteristic of our God who embodies this trait.
Let’s look at nine more verses that we can keep in our arsenal when life tries to swerve us from walking steadfast in our purpose:
Life is a grand adventure with a personal God.
“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?’” Romans 8:15 MSG (Go check out 16-17, too!)
He wants us to trust Him to lead the way. When we do, He’ll begin to make it clear. But He’s a passenger driver who wants to go with you, not a GPS with an overview of the route.
“Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!” Psalms 143:8, 10 ESV
When bad guys pop up among the way, He’s got you. You are precious cargo. Your soul is His treasure.
“And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies, and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul…” Psalms 143:12 ESV
Seriously, He’s got you. Take shelter in Him. Victory along the way is yours. You’ll live to see the other side.
“O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress. My God in his steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.” Psalms 59:9-10 ESV
You’re gonna have bragging rights as a result. Shout it from the rooftops what He’s done for you.
“But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.” Psalms 59:16-17 ESV
He’s with us in the painful moments, but He leads us into spacious places where we can find firm footing: where there are less rockslides and cliff edges, more solid ground and scenic places. He won’t disappoint.
“I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.” Psalms 31:7-8 ESV
It’s an all-in kind of relationship. Give it all you’ve got. Choose to be a woman marked by the characteristic of a steadfast heart.
“My heart is steadfast, O God! I will sing and make melody with all my being!” Psalms 108:1 ESV
When your life reflects the steadfast quality of God, God can’t help but pour out blessings on you. You’re about His business, aligned with His heart, and exercising your purpose.
“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.” Proverbs 3:3-4 ESV
Then, staying focused on God’s next step requires public responsibility. It’s leaving the old behind, taking up the newness of Christ, and pursuing this adventure-life our in the open. It’s evokes action—to walk it like you talk it.
“For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 ESV
The future is bright! Though the road is long, we can fix our eyes on the end game and push on with the endurance to finish well. God blazed the trail for us by letting us share in His steadfast love, now we can follow suit and go the distance with Him.