Scripture: Isaiah 26:3-4–“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.” (NIV)
Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition for steadfast:
- Firmly fixed in place
- Not subject to change
- Firm in belief, determination, or adherence
Quotes (Goodreads.com) using the word steadfast:
- The steadfast love of the Lord endures forever
- Remain steadfast
- God’s laws do not change and His word is steadfast
- Pray, work, be steadfast
S: Steadfast Stephanie’s Story:
“Stephanie could hear her dad yelling from the bleachers as she rounded the track during her two-mile trek. Breathlessly, as she took her final lap, she crossed the finish line winning the race, with her best friend Julie coming in second. Her mother was unable to attend because she was at home under hospice care for a debilitating disease, but Stephanie knew that she was there in spirit.
Whenever Stephanie would get discouraged and have thoughts that she could no longer continue a race, she would hear her mother saying, ‘Now Stephanie, you know that you need to be persistent, strong, confident, and persevere to the end of the race. After all, Paul talks about “pressing toward the goal” in Philippians 3:13: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’ (NIV)
It wasn’t until a few years later that Stephanie would remember her mother’s words even more as she endeavored to train for the Boston Marathon. She and her best friend, Julie, would begin their training next week and would follow the Boston Marathon plan as adopted by the Boston Athletic Association. Their schedule would be as follows:
- Level One: Run an average of 4 days/week–25-40 miles/week
- Level Two: Run an average of 5 days/week–30-45 miles/week
- Level Three: Run an average of 6 days/week–35-55 miles/week
- Level Four: Run an average of 6-7 days/week–35-60 miles/week
The step-by-step in daily weekly mileage was designed to challenge the runner and minimize the risk of training too hard. It would help to maximize a runner’s potential.
Stephanie and Julie would adhere to the above schedule for the next few months so that they could endure the 26.2 mile long run in Boston. Their persistence and steadfastness in training would prove to be useful in running the race.
On the day of the race, and having felt confident that they were prepared, Stephanie and Julie checked in and got their shirt numbers before the race. They stretched and ran in place before getting in the overcrowded group of all those running the race. Along the route, volunteers were prepared to hand out bottles of water and spectators were there to cheer their loved ones on to victory. Stephanie’s dad was there to cheer for her along the way as well.
Stephanie remembered her mother’s encouraging words during the race and when she finally crossed the finish line, she could not help but smile knowing that her mother was probably looking down from heaven and cheering for her daughter as well.”
It was Stephanie’s steadfast determination that helped her cross over the finish line. Paul tells us that we need to “forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead, pressing on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Let us all be determined and steadfast to run the race that God has set before us in order to obtain the prize of eternal salvation.