A Steadfast Spirit

Lord, create in a me a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Amen.  (Psalm 51:10). This is my heart’s cry right now. I long for a pure heart instead of the pride, anger and impatience I feel as I continue to wait on God’s direction and on God’s timing for my life. And the renewal of a steadfast spirit is going to be essential if I am to stay the course and wait on God’s timing instead of my own.

I have wasted a lot of the last 18 months kicking instead of resting, fearful instead of at peace, prideful instead of humble, stubborn instead of teachable, doubting instead of trusting. During this waiting period, I have not always done it well or gracefully. Honestly, it has not been pretty.

But through it all I have come to realize that when the hard stuff hits, we have a choice - Are we going to allow God to refine us through it – coming out stronger and humbler at the other end? Are we going to give God the glory and share the lessons we have learned? Are we going to seek him earnestly in our circumstances and draw nearer to him each day?

OR are we going to refuse to wait - rushing forward into poor decisions in our timing instead of God’s timing? Are we going to refuse to submit and refuse to let our trials burn away our pride and any other parts of our character that need refining? Are we going to harden our hearts and refuse to enter into a closer relationship with God?

Waiting, being patient and being steadfast are an important part of this process. I sometimes do one well but I rarely do all three well at the same time. Waiting is not something that comes naturally to us in the immediate gratification world in which we live. Patience has become an old-fashioned attribute that is rarely taught and often overlooked. And being steadfast in the hard stuff seems, also, to have gone by the wayside.

God’s word has a lot to say about all three. WAITING: Psalm 27:14 tells us to, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.” Lamentations 3:25 says, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”

PATIENCE: Romans 12 :12 tells us to, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him . . .”

BEING STEADFAST: 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “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.” James 1:12 tells us, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

Precious Father – please help us to wait upon your timing and your plans for our lives. May we be patient when the waiting gets long and the path is unclear. May we be steadfast in our trust in you Lord. Amen.