Thursday, December 2, 2010

Steadfast Faith

“My heart is steadfast, God; my heart is steadfast.” Psalms 108: 2

Have you ever had a day or a week or a month—or maybe even years, when you just feel down in the dumps? When you just feel kind of defeated, kind of overwhelmed; perhaps even ready to just give up? At times like these our hearts can be so heavy with sorrow, or pain, or despair. We yearn for freedom from our pain, but at the same time, we are sometimes not sure how to achieve it or what to do to get out of it.

Aside from clinical depression, what is the cause of these feelings? Obviously an event or circumstance that has left us hurt in some way. Or perhaps a series of events: People making fun of us at school or work. The death of a loved one. Losing a job, not getting on the team, getting cut from the musical. Having a boyfriend or girlfriend dump us. All of these things can be the cause of disappointment, pain and sorrow. The truth is that sometimes in life our hearts are just heavy. We acknowledge this when we pray the Hail, Holy Queen and we refer to this earth as a “valley of tears”.

And as a person of faith, how do we cope with these feelings, with this heaviness of heart? Well, I think first of all, it helps to realize that God must have a heavy heart at times. While we cannot certainly hurt God, it must break His heart to see His children wander away searching after so many things that will not satisfy them, rejecting His love no matter how much He pursues us. We can also be comforted by the knowledge that in our weakness and in our pain, Christ is with us. He is close to us. He carries us through these times. He has NOT abandoned us nor forgotten about us.

Ultimately, it is our faith and hope in Jesus that will bring us out of our sadness. Even if we are still feeling sad, the hope of Jesus will help make us steadfast in faith so that we do not lose heart. Being steadfast has nothing to do with feelings. It has to do with a desire of the will and the decision to put that desire into action in our thoughts, words and deeds. It is putting our eyes on Christ and not looking away. It is allowing Him to carry us, without trying to get out of His embrace. It is about allowing Him to uplift us and give us the courage to get up one more day and take one more step towards Him, as little as that step might be.

Dear Jesus, help me to be steadfast of heart today. Allow Your grace to transform any heaviness or burden of suffering on my heart into a firm decision to follow You more deeply today and to hope in You. Amen.

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