Lately in my (Beckie) life, one particular passage from scripture keeps popping up.
James 1:2-3 – Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
This past year has been full of struggles and trials for our family…and continues to be so. Although in all of the doubt and uncertainty I have begun to learn what it means to be steadfast. I should say I have realized that I am NOT steadfast.
Looking through the Bible there are countless examples of steadfastness. The majority of them are in the Old Testament. My conclusion is that the reason for this is because they are all about GOD! God is, and has been, so patient with us (humans) that it amazes me!! He never gives up. What an example. And I fall short ALL the time!
My desire is that of Hosea 6:6 – For I desire steadfast love and sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. I want to continuously seek God during the good, bad and ugly in life. I do realize that I am human, but even to come close to reading my Bible and praying without ceasing 40% of the time would be an improvement to me as I am.
I believe that doubt and discouragement come from not walking close with Jesus. And these two things overwhelm me many days because I choose distraction rather than Christ. I find, it is so easy to get lost in a screen (Facebook, email or a funny sitcom) to disconnect from what is going on in life. Satan’s greatest weapon is distraction and I give in way too many times. Hosea 10:12 says, “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.” These distractions are my fallow ground. It is my own doing that keeps me from the blessing God has for me and living life to the full (John 10:10).
I heard it said once, that the things we aught to do are always the most difficult. Going back to the passage in James, he says that these difficult things, or trials, produce steadfastness or perseverance. How many times do you take the easy road out? Even Jesus says in Matthew 7:14, “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” In this context Jesus is talking about salvation but I believe it applies to us daily working out our salvation.
Every day we have the choice to listen to Jesus’ promptings of the Holy Spirit – “stop snooping on Facebook and invest in real friends”; “spend time with me by reading and praying”; “pray with your husband”; “be patient with the children I have blessed you with” – to name a few things I am convicted of daily. What area of you’re life does the Holy Spirit convict you? Choosing to hear these things is choosing to remain in Christ and therefore producing steadfastness.
Remember, just because you are continuously seeking God in your every day does not mean that life is easy. The trials are still there. Being steadfast allows you to cast your anxieties onto Jesus (1 Peter 5:7) and rely on HIS strength (Philippians 4:13).
I know this is a long post, but it really is a reminder to myself. I do hope that it is helpful to you in whatever trial you are facing at this moment!
Lastly I want to encourage you, with scripture, to remain steadfast with Christ.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9