Being Tough-Minded

With the barrage of negative and seductive media, the shouts of the courts to erase God from our country, and immorality visible throughout our cities, standing firm in our faith is challenged as never before.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world,” (1 Peter 5:8, 9 NKJ).

We can read these verses without understanding how difficult it may be to remain committed to a godly life in today’s society.

Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary describes steadfastness as “firmly fixed in place; immovable; not subject to change.” Webster defines “tough” as, “uncompromising determination.” When we make a decision to accept Jesus as our Savior, we accept the free gift of salvation and rejoice over the forgiveness of our sins and the promise of everlasting life. However, the process of living a steadfast life of faith between the time of our conversion and leaving this world requires the Lord’s help and a tough-minded determination.

When we face choices, regardless of what it is, our frustration increases when we vacillate. It is wise to take time to examine the pros and cons, seek advice from our pastor, Christian friends or others, and pray for the Lord’s direction. These are proper steps for all of us to consider when faced with many decisions that must be made.

However, there are choices we face every day that should not require contemplation. When the Lord forbids something, then our response should be immediate and definite. Emotions may pull us away from what God wants, but when we are “tough-minded” in our commitment to obey Him, it is much easier to walk away from sin.

Each of us has areas in our lives where we are more tempted to stray, and Satan is an expert at providing opportunities to tempt us to sin. People who have suffered from addictions say their progress began when they determined in their mind to commit themselves to do whatever was necessary to get out of bondage. Temptations are easier to resist when we are steadfast in our faith and commitment.

When we first start walking with Christ, it may seem overwhelming. To stay on the right course isn’t easy, but He is with us each step of the way. The Lord tells us, “…I will never leave you nor forsake you,” (Hebrews 13:5 NKJ).  The Holy Spirit indwells us at the time of our conversion to help us live according to God’s Word.

With the Bible giving us the standards to live by, and with the Lord’s constant, abiding presence through the Holy Spirit, we do not need to fear. He tells us the conduct we are to avoid, and the activities and attitudes that please Him.

Taking time from our busy schedules to read the Bible and pray is the surest way to gain the knowledge and wisdom to live each day to please Him.

Attending a Bible believing church and fellowshipping with other Christians will strengthen and encourage us. It takes time to grow spiritually, but day by day our faith will deepen, and we will develop a tough-minded determination to live a godly life.