The prophet Isaiah wrote words that presently bear great relevancy for our current age in prayerful descriptive terms concerning Judah’s God. He wrote the following words stating: Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace— in peace because they trust in you (Isa. 26:3 NRSV). There’s a salient strength in these words that serve to enable God’s people to forge ahead to victory. The New Interpreter’s Bible in rendering commentary on this text points out to us that “an eschatological prophetic voice announces that one day the inhabitants of Judah will sing a song thanking the Lord for victory.” However, I must assert that victory was and is only achievable in the steadfastness of God’s people’s mindset. I speak in particular of steadfastness in times of crises.
It is abidingly evident that our world’s current state is one of an unrelenting chaos. People are confused as they struggle for survival, while many are wondering if they are or are not infected with the COVID-19 virus. We find ourselves wrestling with thoughts as to whether or not I’ll even live, and, if I do, will I have a place to live. Experts in the fields of the medicinal sciences are in a quandary as they debate among themselves best treatment practices for something they do not, as of yet, fully understand. Meanwhile, the White House and Congress struggle to find a common path of attack to eliminate our biological foe and assuage the fears of the American citizenry. In truth, our political leaders are confused; instead of acting for the common good, they oft times find themselves turned in on themselves due to either ideological allegiances or personal ambitions. Whole nations around the globe also find that they too are simmering in this cauldron of confusion, which is both debilitating and distracting.
In sum, the satanic powers of hell use crises to distract. The goal is to distract humankind, collectively and individually, from the purpose and plan of God, both now and in the future. The goal of Satan is to keep every individual person and the world at large in such a state of confusion that it will never gain its footing and discern the path forward out of our current dilemma. He, i.e., the devil, knows all too well that if he can keep us in a disturbed, distressed, and confused state of mind that is faithless and doubting of God’s willingness and ability to deliver, he will exasperate us and true victory will always be beyond our grasp.
Today and throughout these times of crises, we must refuse to allow the devil to win. Elect to be steadfast in your mindset! By way of definition, steadfast means resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering. If we steep our thinking in steadfastly trusting God, he will give us peace that gives way to hope, which will result in His acting on our behalf. May we keep our eyes on Jesus, the captain of our salvation, in comportment with the words of the psalmist who triumphantly declared, My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth (Ps. 121:2 AV).
I close today’s musings with the words of the apostle Paul: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58, AV).
Yours in His Service,
Bishop Lambert W. Gates, Sr.