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Summary: It’s tough to be steadfast or loyal to our creditors when the mortgage or car payment is due, cash is tight, and work is gone. It’s tough to be steadfast and hang on in relationships when so many are divorcing their families and walking away. It is tou

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I’m sure you have had at least one experience where something overwhelmed you to the point that you wondered if you could survey the fallout from it. Your mind is gone there already. Some of you are in the middle of that something and are desperate for help and hope. Others have come through and in some ways never fully recovered. Some look back, can witness to making it through, but are fearful of the next bomb that might come.

We need resources, tools that help us in these times. I’m to share with you the theme, "Keeping it together when you’re falling apart." Your relationship with God is the anchor for the priceless treasures we’ll consider. Aiming for these things in your life must not be approached with a mind that says, "I have to do these things because God expects them" which is a form of legalism. You approach these with an understanding that the activity of these qualities in your life will make you richer and fuller and will flood your life with peace and purpose. It’s not about what you "have to do" but about what God wants to do for you!

Topic 1: Remaining Steadfast

To remain steadfast is similar to the word staunch. Staunch is an interesting word. We use it sometimes to describe people who show certain loyalties to things or people -- he’s a staunch Libreral or Democrat or they are staunch Ranger fans. It suggests you couldn’t possibly change their minds to cross the floor to another political party or cheer for a different hockey team. These examples show us what it means to be steadfast David’s prayer in Psalm 51:10 that God would "renew a steadfast spirit" within him was actually his way of saying, "renew a {staunch} spirit within me".

Steadfast is expressed another way. In the New Living Translation of the Bible it says, "Renew a loyal spirit within me."

Being steadfast, staunch or loyal is a huge issue today. It’s tough to be steadfast or loyal to our creditors when the mortgage or car payment is due, cash is tight, and work is gone. It’s tough to be steadfast and hang on in relationships when so many are divorcing their families and walking away. It is tough to be steadfast by trusting God when life is scary, rough and uncertain.

If we’re to keep it together when we’re falling apart, we need to learn the art and experience of steadfastness, of staunchness, or of loyalty. Let’s explore three things that speak of developing a life of steadfastness, a life of loyalty.

1. Steadfastness comes through pain

1 Peter 5:10...

This verse doesn’t mean we’re to ask for pain so we can learn to be steadfast. However, God can use our pain and suffering to do a great work in us if we are willing to receive it and look through the lens of his heart. Theologian William Barclay comments and illustrates with a story. "Suffering, if accepted in humility and trust and love, can repair the weaknesses of a {person’s} character and add the greatness which so far is not there. It is said that Sir Edward Elgar once listened to a young girl singing a solo from one of his own works. She had a voice of exceptional purity and clarity and range, and an almost perfect technique. When she had finished, Sir Edward said softly, ’She will be really great when something happens to break her heart.’"


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