Back in January, I wrote about my word of the year and why I chose "steadfast."
(1) Firmly fixed in place: immovable.
(2) Firm in belief, determination, or adherence: loyal.
"I pray God cultivates steadfastness in me like His son, Jesus. This year, I pray my faith is resolutely firm. I want to be devoted to God no matter the situation or season. His love for us is unwavering—I want that kind of love for Him in return. I know I am prone to worry and anxiety. I like to be in control. But God, I give that to You.
Lord, help me to stand firm in the faith. Guard me against sin and temptation and keep me focused on you. Give me steadfastness. Endurance for the fight and total surrender to the King.
That's the life I want to live in 2018: steadfast and true."
Here we are, 7 months later, and I need that steadfastness in my life.
I have felt my emotions running the gamut these past few weeks. Anger, frustration, impatience, irritability. I have felt like a hormonal teenager all the time, getting annoyed by the slightest things and allowing a cloud of negativity to hang over my usual sunny self.
Charles and I recently moved, and I find myself rooting my emotions in the state of boxes in our apartment. When our home feels disheveled, so do I. I let my emotions carry me away, rather than anchoring myself in the Father above and the truth I know in Him.
God loves feelings. Jesus Himself experienced the depth of feelings while here on this earth. He knows deep joy and love, grief, anxiety, and empathy like no one else. He understands feelings because He is the One who created them.
So my feelings are not a bad thing. My feelings are not a problem in the eyes of God. Instead, my feelings are meant to show me more of Him. When I am upset about a messy apartment or frustrated that I can't do things exactly my way, what does that say about my heart?
I think about Joseph in the book of Genesis. Joseph, whom God loved, was put through situation after situation in which his faith was tested. Yet he never wavered. He followed God, and he credited all to God's righteousness. Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers and left to die. Then his brothers changed their minds and sold him as a slave to men passing by. Why let him die when they could prosper off his pain?
Joseph ends up serving Potiphar. Potiphar’s wife demands the young and attractive Joseph have an affair with her. He denies her, and Joseph ends up thrown in prison, hated by both Potiphar and his wife.
God still follows him.
He's respected and given more responsibility than the other prisoners. He helps the chief cupbearer get out of prison—and the cupbearer forgets about Joseph. Two. Whole. Years. Pass.
Finally, the cupbearer remembers Joseph. He gets him out of prison by telling Pharaoh he could interpret his dreams. Joseph explains how Egypt will have 7 years of abundance followed by 7 years of famine, and he helps Egypt prepare for this impending famine. So Pharoah uses Joseph and exalts him to the highest position in his kingdom.
Throughout his entire story—which spans years—we never see Joseph lose his cool. We don't see him freak out in the prison or complain to God.
In fact, Joseph is the complete opposite. He is steady, he is faithful, he is true.
God is with him in all that he does. Joseph reflects the steadfastness of God, and he’s a symbol of the Messiah to come. He shows what it truly looks like to have unwavering faith that isn’t disturbed by feelings or situation. His example encourages me in this season where my belief falters. From the pit to the prison to the riches in the house of Pharaoh, Joseph walks with God.
What would it look like for us to walk with God, regardless of circumstance? What if we remembered God walks with us even when we don’t feel His presence? I think our lives would look quite different. Our feelings would become more steady. And our emotions would serve as a way to point us to God, not detract us from Him.
“Lord, give me steadfastness like Joseph, like the Father, like Jesus. Keep me steady, peaceful, grateful. Help me walk with You in every situation and season. I pray all these things in Your name. Amen.”
If you want to talk more about Jesus Christ and faith and what-the-heck-is-all-this-stuff, shoot me a message. I love meeting new people, whether virtually or in person, and gabbing about life.
And if you'd like to know more of my story, you can read my testimony here.
Truly, He makes beautiful things.