Steadfast. I have always loved this word that describes God’s character. He is firm and unwavering, dependable, solid, constant. He is my refuge, my rock. He does not change. I love that I serve an unshakable God.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (ESV)
Here, the word steadfast is used to describe the believer’s character. If you were asked to describe yourself, is steadfast a word you would choose?
This is a game changer. God uses our trials to create steadfastness, perseverance, if you prefer, but perseverance by definition according to Google, is steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. God tests our faith to create a faith so strong that does not move, so that, in spite of difficulty, in spite of not being able to see, in spite of having to wait, we do not give up. I think this is the faith the Disciples had. Their faith did not move, in the waiting, in their disappointment, even as they faced death, because they were steadfast.
I want to be steadfast. But it sounds hard. It sounds painful.
I don’t know that I’ll be facing the threat of death, like the Disciples, because of my faith any time soon, but I do know that I face trials daily. Some small, seemingly insignificant, others seem insurmountable at times. But, according to James, I am to count them as joy, because God is creating in me a faith that will not move. How does God do this?
For me, it feels like a dance. I go through a trial, feeling like I’m alone, like my prayers just don’t make it to God’s ears. We’ve all been there, and we have a choice, keep praying, keep seeking God, or give up, stop believing. There’s nothing romantic or magical about making a choice. We make choices all day long; why would it be any different with God? So, I choose to press in; I persevere. I choose to trust that God’s Word is true. I believe that when I cry out, he hears me and when I look to him; I will not be disappointed (Ps 34:5-6). And I find God there. He rewards my choice to trust with stronger faith; he has created expectancy in my heart. Through the trial, He creates belief in me that he will meet me again and again. And then we start the dance all over again. But this time, it may be faster; I might remember right away that he is with me. Other times, it is slow, I forget. Or, I try to muster strength on my own. But he is good; he is patient and he waits for me to recognize my need. All the while, he is refining; he is testing. He is proving my faith. He is making me steadfast.
My question is, do you trust God? Do you believe that God is working in your trial, even if it is taking longer than you would like? I believe God uses what we would deem a delay to make us that much stronger. It is in the delay, in the waiting he whispers, press in, choose to trust me. We find him in the waiting because he is creating something in us that we cannot create for ourselves. He is making us like Jesus. We don’t have to fake strength with God. He sees our weakness before we do; he is not worried. Where we are weak, when we invite God in, he showcases his magnificent perfect strength. Let your weaknesses be areas of encouragement to press in, let them be ear markers of your need for God, areas to rejoice because he will meet you, he is waiting. And, if God is waiting for you, to meet your need, to wrap his steadfastness around your weakness, that is worth rejoicing over. That is worth a celebration.
About Sarah Glassett:
I am a wife. Mother of two beautiful girls, inside and out. I am passionate about loyalty and authenticity. I love quiet moments, gardening, good books, and the beach. Laughter is of the utmost importance. I am always learning.
I love to share how the love of Jesus has made me brave.