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A Thanksgiving Reflection: On Being Steadfast

Posted By Connie Moody, Thursday, November 22, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 16, 2012

Is your boat rocking these days—

As waves crash: election results, jobless rates, higher taxes, national debt, and fiscal cliffs;

Gales pierce: crime, war, and terrorism;

Rains soak: laws disregarded, marriage redefined, families disassembled, and national sovereignty dismantled

And storm clouds gather: separation, sickness, illness, and death?

It’s hard to keep our legs under us in times like these; it’s hard to be steadfast when the sea of troubles tosses our boat to and fro. But, steadfast we must be. It is our heritage from saints and martyrs through the ages; it is the quality of the Divine in Whose image we are created.

STEADFAST, a. [stead and fast (place and fixed)] Fast; fixed; firm; firmly fixed or established. 2. Constant; firm; resolute; not fickle or wavering.

STEADFASTNESS, n. Firmness of standing in place; fixedness in place. 2. Firmness of mind or purpose; fixedness in principle; constancy; resolution.

These definitions are inspiring enough, but consider these opposites of ‘steadfast’. If these describe our character and disposition, then we are living lives antonymous of the character of Christ:

Changeable, fickle, fluctuating, inconstant, unstable, wavering, retiring, uncertain, unsure, irresponsible, negligent, apathetic, untrustworthy, disloyal, indifferent, languid, lazy, irresolute, false, treacherous, untrue, cowardly, indulgent, moderate, tolerant, fatigued, weary, distracted, busy, surrendering, deceptive, careless, indolent, afraid, weak, undecided, shaky, undependable, complacent, laid-back, doubtful

 

Keep Thanksgiving, our American holiday, this year thanking God for His steadfastness. Thank Him also for the crashing waves of trial and stormy winds of tribulation that beset us as they give us "sea legs” and the opportunity to stand firmly in His power and strength. Read the stories of Job, Jesus, Paul, and others of our Christian history who have endured resolutely. Read Bradford’s firsthand account of our Pilgrim Fathers to be reminded of our heritage of Christian character, of steadfastness:

"I cannot but here take occasion, not only to mention, but greatly to admire the marvelous providence of God, that notwithstanding the many changes and hardships that these people went through, and the many enemies they had and difficulties they met with all, that so many of them should live to very old age!...[It] is found in experience that changing air, famine, or unwholesome food, much drinking of [tainted] water, sorrows & troubles, and etc., all of them are enemies to health, causes of many diseases, consumers of natural vigor and the bodies of men, and shorteners of life. And yet of all these things they had a large part, and suffered deeply in the same. They went from England to Holland, where they found both worse air and diet than that they came from; from thence (enduring a long imprisonment, as it were, in the ships at sea) into New England; and how it has been with them here has already been shown; and what crosses, troubles, fears, wants, and sorrows they had been liable unto, is easy to conjecture….What was it then that upheld them? It was God’s visitation that preserved their spirits….He that upheld the Apostle upheld them.

….

"God, it seems, would have all men to behold and observe such mercies
and works of his providence as these are towards his people,
that they in like cases might be encouraged to depend upon God in their trials, & also bless his name when they see his goodness towards others.

….

"God in such examples would have the world see & behold that he can do it without them; and if the world will shut their eyes, and take no notice thereof, yet he would have his people to see and consider it.”

 

Be Steadfast in Thankfulness!

Bless His Holy Name!

 

 

Tags:  Bradford  Pilgrims  steadfast  Thanksgiving 

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