God gave me a word to use for this year. “Choose.” The year is still young, but this single word has already revealed things to me that make me just want to keep digging deeper into scripture to reveal all that I can “choose.” After I realized this was my focus word for the year, I decided to make a list of things that I might need to choose: hope, joy, peace, patience, faith, trust, presence, strength, steadfast love. I tried to quickly make a few references to scripture for each area. What I came to realize is that one stood out and was a part of multiple “choices.” Steadfast love. Whenever I found it in scripture, it usually included something about hope, covenant, joy, and faithfulness. I wanted to bring more authentic meaning to this by defining steadfast and love, since these words are found in scripture so many times together. Merriam-Webster defines each this way:
Steadfast /sted fast/- adjective- 1. firmly fixed in place: immovable; not subject to change 2. Firm in belief, determination, or adherence: loyal — steadfastness-noun
Love / ‘lev /- noun- a. unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: such as 1. The fatherly concern of God for humankind 2. Brotherly concern for others b. A person’s adoration of God
I just love the picture this paints in my head. Our God is immovable, loyal, unselfish, and benevolently “in love” with us! Why is that a big deal? Because there is nothing we can do that will change how much He loves us. He gives us all of Himself at every moment…we just have to accept it. And when we return that back to Him, the blessings that cover us are finally revealed.
Now when I read “steadfast love” in scripture, I use it as a reminder that God’s promises are immovable, loyal, unselfish, and benevolent. It’s just another way for me to connect with scripture, and be reminded over and over again how much I am loved. If you are feeling distant from God or doubting His love for you, I challenge you to look up every scripture with “steadfast love” in it and read each one. Count how many times it shows up in scripture. Allow each verse to be a declaration over you.
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 3:22
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. ~Proverbs 3:3
Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand. ~Psalm 17:7
All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and testimonies. ~Psalm 25:10
I will choose steadfast love this year. What will you choose?