TAKING ACTION TO BE FIRM
“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
// 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
The word steadfastness is defined as the action of staying firm or fixed; it is an action which denotes a lack of movement. We often misconstrue perseverance as standing still and waiting, remaining passive as the world moves around us. In reality, it takes just as much strength and action to stay constant or unchanging as it does to shift – to face the waves of challenge in our work, family, or relationships and not give up.
In the passage above, Paul tells the Church in Thessalonica that he is praying for their steadfast hope in Jesus. Paul gives thanks for the actions that the people of Thessalonica are taking, for their work, their labor, and their steadfastness – “your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” Steadfastness is as active as work or labor. In the same way, we must be active in our perseverance. We are called to work on our faith daily, to labor in loving the people around us, and to remain active in our hope in the Lord, who is victor above all.
It doesn’t stop with us though. In verse two, Paul states that he is “constantly mentioning you in our prayers” – highlighting the power of prayer for our brothers and sisters. We must constantly keep our friends and family in prayer, petitioning for strength in steadfastness. Community is key to keeping firm in hope – praying for the ones we love to persevere in the hard times and to keep hope on their lips and in their hearts.
// Tim Stratton