Be steadfast; better days are coming

Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 12:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 12:53 p.m.

Greetings, all, in the name of Jesus!

One of my favorite scripture passages, and one that I have preached on often and quoted over the years, is from 1st Corinthians 15:58, where the Apostle Paul writes: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." (KJV).

The reason that I like it so much is because it speaks to us as believers in Christ that, no matter what, we should not waver from the faith or give up on the promises that God has made to us. Even in times of trouble — sickness, family troubles, money issues, problems with spouses or children — which will come to all of us in one form or another, Paul is telling you and me to hang in there because better days are coming.

Let's break down some of the key words from this very powerful and bold text: First, Paul tells us to be steadfast. To be steadfast means to be "firm" in something, like a belief or a principle, or to be constant and steady without changing from one day to the next.

Then Paul tells us to be unmovable, which is quite similar to being steadfast, but from another perspective. This means to not allow anyone or anything to spiritually move us from our clear and spiritual direction. We should be like a tree planted by the still water, and declare, "I shall not be moved!"

Finally, the word abounding in this text means for us, while we are being steadfast and unmovable, to always allow ourselves to spiritually "soak up" like a sponge as much of God's word as we can to help us as we deal with the everyday ups and downs of our lives.

As God's people, we should never get enough of God's word, and especially when we are going through a particular trial in our lives. Paul is telling us not just to abound in the word, but also the work that we do for Christ, for this kind of "holy labor" will reap many rewards from God.

So, my brothers and sisters, our goal as God's children is to be confident in our faith and firm in our belief no matter what, who, where, when or how. For example, a farmer must fix his eyes on a certain part of his field as he begins to plow. If he loses sight of what he is doing, he will wind up with very crooked plow lines in his ground. If we are steady and stable, our earthly labor will never be in vain. The fruit of the spirit is ours to reach out and grab, if we want it.

Being in God's will should and can lead to happiness, a clean conscience and eternal life as God leads us toward Heaven. We have to be willing to deny ourselves and seek His will and not our own. Lastly, we have to believe that God's promises are sure and true because the more we read God's great and powerful word, we will find out that what God says, he will do, and there is a word that covers any situation that we will face in our lives.

As you contemplate this, repeat this simple prayer to yourself as often as you like:

"Dear Lord, I want to be used by you in an abundant way, so I will trust you to lead me on, serving you each and every day." Amen.

May God grant you joy, peace, faith and serenity.

The Rev. Milford Lewis Griner is pastor of Pleasant Plain United Methodist Church in Jonesville.

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