Steadfastness...now that's a fun word
James 1:4-5 "and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
This word "steadfastness" is found several other places in the new testament. It is found in 1 Timothy 6:11"But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness" and 2 Peter 1:6 "and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness."
So based on these 3 passages and others, we know that "steadfastness" is to be a part of our character and we know what produces steadfastness...but what is it? Great question. The Greek word for steadfastness is associated with the Greek word for hope and it refers to that quality of character that does not allow us to surrender to circumstances or peter out under trial. When we are in a circumstance that isn't one that we necessarily signed up for, we still have hope because we are an adopted child of God through Jesus Christ. So as Christians, we ALWAYS have hope and that hope allows us to plow through difficult situations. It is when we take our focus off of the hope that we have in Christ and place our focus on our current situation that we actually lose hope and therefore render ourselves incapable of becoming steadfast.
As a child of God, we all are going to go through trials of many kinds. These trails are not fun, however, I have noticed a huge difference in people who are facing trails over the past 2 decades plus of ministry. 2 people can be facing a very similar trial however they are facing it 2 different ways. 1 person is down, low, life is about to end, life can't go on, I have no idea if life is worth living anymore and the other recognizes that the trial doesn't feel really good but has a beautifully
optimistic outlook on the situation. What is the difference or maybe better said, what lead to the difference? Time and again the difference was simply "time spent with God in His word, prayer and fellowship with other believers."
Are you facing a trial or a difficult situation? Are you focussed on the trial or are you focussed on the Savior? To have steadfastness as a part of your character, you will go through trials. How you go through them is your choice to make. The key is to go through trials focussed on the Savior, pursuing His word, and fellowshipping with other believers to receive support and wise counsel. Sometimes when we read this passage we are thinking of an isolated situation that we are suppose to navigate on our own in order to produce something. That is incorrect. This isn't a solo journey or right of passage in the desert without food or water. No, we don't withdraw when we are going through a trial. We make sure we are a part of biblical community when we go through a trial. This helps us produce the steadfastness that God is looking for.