Lately, whenever I have opened my Bible, I will read about God's steadfast love and faithfulness. When this happens, I have learnt to sit up and take notice as God is wanting to reveal something about His nature to me. What does steadfast love mean from a biblical point of view?
Steadfast love is our English translation of "hesed", a Hebrew word used 242 times in the Old Testament. Its primarily used to describe God's love towards us, but it is also used to describe our love for each other. Hesed is a word unique to Hebrew that combines "love" and "loyalty" (Paul Miller, A loving life, 24.).
When I dwell on the word "steadfast" I think of someone who is consistent, constant, and dependable. My husband is a good example of someone who is steadfast, yet even my husband will falter at times simply because he is human.
However, God will never falter in his steadfast love towards us because he is the source of love. He promises us that the more we live in him our love will grow more perfect and perfect love will cast out the fears of this world (1 John chapter 4 verse 16).
God is faithful. It is part of his nature, his essence, his being. It is one of God's inherent attributes. And because faithfulness is a part of who he is, he remains faithful even when we do not.
"Even when we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself."
2 Timothy chapter two verse13
The Bible is full of scriptures that speak of God's faithfulness toward us.
"Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides."
Psalm chapter 119 verse 90
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever."
Psalm chapter 136 verses one to three
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
Lamentations chapter three verses 22-23
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
1 John chapter one verse nine
God's faithfulness means we can trust Him and put our hope in him.
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."
Hebrews chapter 10 verse 23
Learning to remain faithful and steadfast
God desires for us to also be steadfast in our love toward Him and others and to remain faithful.
"For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings."
Hosea chapter six verse six (also Matthew Chapter 12 verse seven)
In the current times we live, faithfulness, loyalty and steadfastness do not really come to mind. Yet if we are God's servants, we are to be vastly different to what we see happening on our social media pages and the world around us.
"The goal of faithfulness is not that we will do work for God, but that He will be free to do His work through us. God calls us to His service and places tremendous responsibilities on us. He expects no complaining on our part and offers no explanation on His part. God wants to use us as He used His own Son."
How can we remain faithful and steadfast to both God and people?
I have been pondering over this question lately and asking myself and God if I am being faithful to Him. Areas I feel God has shown me include
1. Loving the Lord with ALL my heart, mind, and soul. Not just giving Him a portion of me, but ALL of me.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."
Mark chapter 12 verse 30
2. Not giving up with finishing things He wants me to finish.
...let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
Hebrews chapter 12 verse one
3. Remaining steadfast in my love and actions to the people in my life, especially my family.
"No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is made complete in us."
1 John chapter four verse 12
4. Remaining faithful to the small things.
Before we can expect to be given much, we need to be able to be trustworthy with the little and what we already have in our lives.
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much."
Luke chapter 16 verse 10
I pray we can gain a deeper revelation on God's faithfulness and steadfast love he has for us. And my prayer is that we remain faithful to Him. May what he wants to do in and through us be brought to completion so that on that day we can hear, "Well done my good and faithful servant."