Psalm 108:1 My heart is steadfast, God; I will sing, I will sing praises also with my soul. (NASB)
Steadfast: confident, unmovable, firm, secure. Admittedly, my heart sure doesn’t feel “steadfast” as often as it should, especially lately. But, in today’s passages, Joseph, David, and Paul are godly examples of what it looks like to live with a heart that is steadfast and confident in God.
In Genesis, Joseph tearfully reveals himself to the brothers who had sold him into slavery. Needless to say, they’re shocked to find Joseph not only alive, but thriving and ruling in Egypt. It’s hard for them to believe that Joseph’s tears might actually be tears of joy and forgiveness. Even as I read the story, I’m surprised (and maybe a bit disappointed) that Joseph isn’t going to punish them and seek revenge for how they treated him. But Joseph’s heart is fixed on God. He loves God deeply, and he loves his family. He longs for their relationship to be restored. He not only joyfully forgives his brothers, he brings his entire family to safety in Egypt, fulfilling a promise God had made to Abraham generations before.
Is my heart so fixed on God that I am willing to joyfully forgive even if that forgiveness isn’t requested? Joseph’s brothers were sorrowful over what they had done, but that’s often not the case. My sanctification must be characterized by the willingness to forgive just as I’ve been forgiven out of a desire to restore those broken relationships.
Psalm 108 begins with confident praise, but it’s quickly apparent that David is facing difficult battles. Yet, his heart is steadfast because He has seen God work in the past, and he is confident God will work in the future. David also acknowledges that, even with fortified cities and carefully-trained armies, human efforts are vain without God’s help. Only He can give the victory.
How often do I attempt to “fix” things? How often do I assume I know better than God and fail to even ask Him for wisdom, much less stop trying to accomplish things in my own strength? Is my heart so fixed on God that I can confidently proclaim like David “With God’s help I will do mighty things…”?
In Galatians 2, Paul confronts his friend and fellow-apostle Peter and exposes a false gospel that was threatening the Galatian believers’ newfound freedom in Christ. Paul’s heart was so fixed on God that he was willing to endure conflict with Peter in order to defend the truth of the gospel and not lead others astray.
I don’t have to look far to see a lot of conflict in my circles. Friends and families on different sides of biblical truths that I never imagined would be questioned. Am I confident enough to stand up for God’s truth like Paul did? Have I invested the time and effort necessary to know and understand God’s truth so that I can speak up lovingly and confidently to defend what is right?
Father, fix my heart on You. Increase my confidence and security in You. Help me love others so deeply that I am willing to forgive even when forgiveness is undeserved or feels impossible. Give me courage to stand up for Your truth, even in the face of opposition. Remind me daily that victory comes through You alone.