I have to say, I’m just a little baffled. I’m sure some will be upset by what I write, and honestly, I hesitate to do it. But as I was reading tonight, I really wouldn’t be the first.
I’m baffled by those who walk as Christ Followers who are fearful of the future right now. Yes, we are all walking into uncertain times. And as Christians, we should know everything isn’t going to be peachy in our future. Our gender, race, economic status, nor ethnicity will have anything to do with it. But our choice of religion will.
As I was reading today though, these troubled times are meant for the testing of our faith. We all know tests are never fun. Just like all those tests in school were meant to build knowledge in us, the testing of faith during troubled times builds something in us. Steadfastness.
So I was thinking, what exactly is ‘steadfastness’ anyway? Truth is, I wasn’t really all too happy when I found out. In fact, I rather prefer the word steadfastness to the definition. I mean, what do you think of when you hear the word steadfast?
I think of a soldier, like a knight outside a city gate. Ready and waiting for the moment they need to act. Armed and ready. But no… it’s not really the picture painted by the word used.
The word used here is ὑπομονή (hupomonē hoop-om-on-ay’). The meaning it carries with it include words like constancy and endurance. Thayer’s adds, “in the N. T. the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings” and “1; ἡ τῆς μαχαίρας ὑ. τῶν πληγῶν the sword’s power to sustain blows.”
Notice, it isn’t the swords power to give blows. It’s the sword’s power to SUSTAIN blows. If it’s sustaining a blow, it means it’s being struck. And being struck is not a pleasant thing.
So it isn’t someone ready to act, it’s someone who is just standing. It requires patience. It requires self-control. It requires faith. So now we know our actions are a clear indication of our faith. And by leaning on our faith, we will have steadfastness, no matter what the circumstance. No matter what is going on around us. I like the Message version:
You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.
So during these troubled times, how is your faith life testing out?
TRIALS * * * * FAITH * * * * STEADFAST