“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast,
immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:58

God has called his people to steadfast faithfulness. He has marked out a course for each of us to run, and we can either run the course faithfully to the finish, or we can fail and even drop out. Life can be hard, but God is good.

As he was sitting in the open-air one dreadful day in a Russian gulag, Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008) felt despair and gloom settling over him. This brilliant Christian writer was sentenced to serve years in a Siberian prison by an oppressive, despotic system. He didn’t know if he could survive the cruelties of this tormenting nightmare. While feeling his own pain and despair, a man seated next to him picked up a stick and drew the sign of the cross in the dirt. Suddenly, Solzhenitsyn gained a renewed perspective. He got up, picked up his shovel, and went back to work. Knowing what Christ, as the innocent God-man had suffered for him, his will was infused with a new energy to persevere until the end—regardless.

Just before the patriarch Jacob went to his eternal reward, he gathered all his sons around him in order to bestow on each his farewell blessing. Coming to Joseph, he said, “With bitterness archers attacked [you]; they shot at [you] with hostility. But [your] bow remained steady, [your] strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel” (Gen. 49:24). Jacob said Joseph remained “steady”—persevered—in the face of extreme difficulties, which he had.

Jesus is our model for perseverance and steadfastness. He faithfully followed the will of the Father for his life to the very end of his earthly sojourn. He came to help you and me do the same.

The will to be faithful to my God
Is more than I have in myself to give.
Thus I need His strength for every day,
To energize me with His life to live.

Taken from . . .
Renewed by the Spirit: 365 Daily Meditations
Ralph I. Tilley
copyright © 2016 Ralph I. Tilley
(May be copied for noncommercial purposes;
not to exceed 500 copies.)

Author: Ralph I. Tilley

I joyfully identify with the long history of the orthodox, evangelical stream of the Church. Theologically, I am a conservative. On issues of secondary importance, I will not quibble with my brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” I would hope I have no doctrinal biases; however, I realize that is a practical impossibility: “Now I know in part.” You can read more on the About page.