Milk and Honey Magazine explains how to feel steady and sure in your Christian faith and trust in Jesus. Do not fear, dear girl, God loves you!

Steady & Sure in 2020

Whitney Lynne Webster

One of my favorite pastimes is to lounge in cozy coffee shops as I talk to friend, journal, spend time with Jesus, and dream up ideas and goals for the future. Maybe that’s why New Year’s Day (and the eve too) is one of my favorite holidays, if not my very favorite holiday, along with the lakey goodness of July Fourth and the twinkly lights of Christmas. I generally spend the first day of each new year in a coffee shop doing just that... dreaming for the future and spending time sitting at Jesus’s feet asking for His dreams for my future. New Year’s Day sparks the joy of hope as I dream with Jesus about where the year might take me and reflect on His faithfulness in the past year. The dreamer in me is usually thrilled at simply the thought of a brand new year... much less a brand new decade. 

Which was why this New Year’s Day was so concerning to me... I wasn’t excited for the new year at all. Truthfully, I was filled with dread. I didn’t want to reflect on the past year at ALL. I was very over it and, at the same time, discouraged for my future because of it. This past year was one of deep sorrow and confusion and heartache not only for me, but also for the people that I love the most. I’ve been navigating the most befuddling of emotions as I wrestle with forgiveness and boundaries and how to live life without regrets while also taking the time and space that my heart needs to heal and mend and move on from the trauma and trials of the past. To say that it’s been a long road is an understatement.

And as I was sitting at one of my favorite shops on New Year’s Day, I remember telling Jesus that I didn’t want a word for this year. I also didn’t want to dream for this year... nor did I really even want to set goals this year, but, for the sake of faithfulness, I opened up my Bible that morning to the book of Colossians and one word stood out to me like a sore thumb. Steadfast.

“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless... if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard.” - Colossians 1:21-23

Oof. And ya know what? In my head I was like, “Okay, Jesus, this is gonna be easy. I’m super steadfast. The most steadfast. The epitome of steadfastness. I’ve walked through the most blazing of fires and still call on Your name, look how steadfast I am. Your daughter Whitney, the poster child of steadfastness.” (lol) But I claimed that word as my word for this year, not super sure what it meant, but knowing that Jesus would show me.

And, during the first days of this year, I found out just how steadfast I am not. Later in the book of Colossians, it talks about steadfastness of prayer, which I conveniently read as I was a bit angry at Jesus and maybe refusing to talk to Him. Classic. Then, as I walked through a week of doom and gloom, bathing in self-pity and hopelessness as if it were my job, I read in 1 Thessalonians about the steadfastness of hope. Of course. Ideal, really.

And that made my heart shift to the idea that Jesus probably wanted to instill steadfastness in my heart this year, which is apparently much needed. I started to pick myself up by the bootstraps and set new goals that would encourage steadfastness in my walk with Jesus and made the resolution that I would wholeheartedly work on all of my spiritual disciplines this year and then see where Jesus takes me. Which isn’t the worst of resolutions, though a very incomplete one.

It wasn’t until I was reading in Isaiah that I realized how deeply incomplete my view of steadfastness was.

“‘For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” - Isaiah 54:10

When I read this, it dawned on me that steadfastness, though a byproduct of knowing Jesus, isn’t just a call... it’s a promise. The anxiety that came from the call to steadfastness quickly turned to peace when my eyes were opened to the promise that (though this season of sorrow will surely not be the last), I will never ever walk through the fire alone, and that my God, the Rock of Ages, will never waver in His love and kindness and faithfulness towards me. Though I may actually be the poster child of steadfastnessless (is that even a word? hehe), never for a moment has my God ever been anything other than my compassionate, constant, steadfast Father in heaven. And the same is true for you, too.

Because, truthfully, the call to steadfastness is only possible when we find peace, hope, and joy in the promise of God’s constant love towards us. The steady and sure love and faithfulness of our God is what encourages our own steadfastness in hope, prayer, and faith. When we believe that our God is on our team, ever by our side, loving with every intent of doing good to us and not harm, of course we want to obey Him and cherish Him and talk to Him. Of course there is light in our eyes, peace in our minds, and joy in our hearts when we trust in the character of our all-good, all-knowing, all-powerful Lord who never leaves nor forsakes us. And this is what allows us to walk fearlessly and faithfully through the shadow of the valley of death... the promise that our God is with us and ever faithful to us. 

Friends, no matter what season you’re walking through, whether one of great joy or of deep sorrow, our God is true joy and steady hope to the hopeless. You aren’t walking this road alone, and no act of faithlessness on your part could ever tear you away from the faithfulness of God if you’re in Christ Jesus. So let’s walk without fear through the mountains and the valleys of life holding onto this promise: that our God is with us and steadfast in His loving kindness towards us. 

Milk and Honey Magazine explains how to feel steady and sure in your Christian faith and trust in Jesus. Do not fear, dear girl, God loves you!

Whitney Lynne Webster is an (almost) 25-year-old creative living in Nashville, Tennessee. She has a degree in vocal performance and a passion for all things green and growing. When she isn’t making lattes or nannying, you can probably find her watercoloring, arranging bouquets, writing blogs or songs, hiking, snuggling her rabbit, or singing too loud. Check out her blog and insta - @whitlynweb!