“We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God the Father, knowing, brethren beloved of God, His choice of you…” 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 (NASB)
One of the things I love about the Bible is looking at words, specifically individual words. It is one of the delights of studying scripture which always rewards the inquisitive mind. For me it happens very suddenly as it did with the chosen text here, I was brought to a standstill by the phrase “steadfastness of hope.” What is meant by “steadfastness” in the Bible?
When I think of steadfastness I immediately think of my favourite hymn, “We Have An Anchor,” which has the verse: We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love. From years of singing this beautiful hymn I already have some understanding of steadfastness. Yet I was keen to dig deeper on the significance of the word in my Bible.
My Bible lexicon tells me that steadfastness is “patient endurance” or just “endurance.” But the Oxford Dictionary describes steadfast as being “resolutely or dutifully firm or unwavering.” I must admit I like the picture of an unwavering hope in Jesus. When I picture unwavering in my imagination I see a lighthouse, standing against the storm. I aim for my hope in Jesus to be that lighthouse. Being steadfast in hope is to persevere in our faith, clinging resolutely to Almighty God.
Dear reader, are you unwavering in your Saviour? Is your hope standing firm no matter what life throws at you? Let us pray together: “create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10).