Steadfast Faith

Steadfastness is a quality of spiritual understanding, and it includes unshaken hope and faith. The various arguments of the carnal mind designed to weaken right expectation or lower one's moral standard cannot enter consciousness if steadfast obedience to good guards the entrance. The Psalmist rebukes the lack of this quality when he speaks of "a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God." One who trains his thoughts to stay steadfastly with God, good, reflects the strength of divine Principle. But thoughts which stray from God, good, are inevitably unsteadfast, deflected from Truth, unprincipled, faithless. Hence, one who would be spiritually steadfast must maintain his mental outlook clear and true to God; and this necessitates turning mentally away from the evidence presented by the physical senses.

In the case of a certain cripple from birth it is written in the Acts of the Apostles that Paul "stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked." In this healing, steadfast faith was in evidence on both sides. There was no timidity or unbelief on the part either of Paul or of the cripple. On the part of both there was active faith. Hence, the elements of unbelief, which would weaken steadfast faith and the expectancy of good in practitioners and patients, must be cast out of consciousness, else they will hinder demonstration. Unquestionably Paul's attention was riveted on the cripple's spiritual faith, rather than on his physical infirmity. Can it be doubted, then, that what Paul steadfastly beheld was the very reverse of the apparently crippled body of a mortal? Was it not the pure, perfect, and complete idea of man, the resemblance of Mind and not the dissemblance of matter, which Paul steadfastly beheld?

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If one finds himself believing that he has not faith enough to heal, or to be healed, he needs to repudiate this carnal suggestion promptly and totally. How may this be done? By declaring and realizing that faith is a spiritual quality derived from Spirit, and that faith is therefore both limitless and steadfast, for Truth is unaffected by error.

Mrs. Eddy writes, "The scientific, healing faith is a saving faith; it keeps steadfastly the great and first commandment, 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me—no other than the spiritual help of divine Love" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 153). Here our Leader shows the connection between healing faith and steadfast obedience to the demands of divine Principle as expressed in the First Commandment.

In order that he may express steadfastness under trial, the thoughts of the Christian Scientist must stay with and not stray from God, good; so divine Love, the great Shepherd, enfolds the true thinker in all his ways. Steadfastness is strengthened and increased in proportion as it is practiced and utilized in ways both big and little.

Students of Christian Science need to defend themselves from the suggestion that, although one may embark upon a demonstration with buoyant expectancy of quick and satisfying results, if these should fail to appear, faith may gradually ebb away and disappointment diminish hope. One who accepts this suggestion of error is allowing his thoughts to stray from the First Commandment. From the stability of divine Principle emanate the steadfastness and obedience of the Christian Scientist. Steadfastness is to be seen as spiritual, and therefore entirely uninfluenced by aggressive suggestions of failure or faint expectation.

The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews described both the need and the source of steadfastness when he wrote, "We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end." The beginning of hope and faith, the beginning of every demonstration, comes through one's glimpse of the real nature of God and man; and if we look to Christ, Truth, which has awakened our spiritual confidence, it will be maintained steadfastly unto the end of each demonstration. One who mentally persists in reflecting the Truth which knows no discord, no limitation, no imperfection, cannot help being steadfast; for in true consciousness there is nothing to turn one from the contemplation of infinite good; there is no fear, sin, or murmur of dissatisfaction to cause the sheep of His pasture to stray from the infinite fold of divine Love.

Where else is there to turn for redemption than to Christian Science, which alone fully reveals the demonstrable perfection and atonement of God and His creation? Knowing the triumph of Truth over error, our Leader writes in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 267), "The audible and inaudible wail of evil never harms Scientists, steadfast in their consciousness of the nothingness of wrong and the supremacy of right." Violet Ker Seymer

June 22, 1929

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