Steadfastness: A Second Look

Make a mental list of traits you enjoy in others: the attributes you admire, the things that draw you to your friends, your own personal strengths, or the characteristics you wish you had.  Chances are, things like love, courage, honesty, creativity, and having a good sense of humor made the list.  Chances are, "steadfastness" didn't.  The word itself sounds archaic, stoic, and generally- boring.  Imagine putting that on a resume (or God-forbid, a dating profile): "Hi, my name is ___________.  I'm well-known for being steadfast."

We're a culture that values free-thinking, adaptability, and spontaneity.  Everything is new, fun, exciting, and engaging.  You can set the alarm on your new iPhone 4 one night, and when you wake up, they'll come out with the iPhone 6.  Consumer-culture aside, these values aren't themselves good or bad; it's just the world we live in.  Yet often, there's a weird disconnect between what we know, how we think, and how we act.  It's like we look at ourselves in a mirror, walk away, and forget.

Make a mental list of the attributes of God: the things we praise Him for, the things we sing about.  Isn't immutability one of the most celebrated aspects of God Himself?  He is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Entire Psalms extol his steadfast love which endures forever.  Why?  Because if God is love, and God doesn't change, we can rely on him to keep loving us.  There's great comfort in that.  The attributes of God we praise are meaningless if he's going to be fickle about it.  But God is immutable.  His character remains steadfast.

I opened up to James today (after, admittedly, not reading my Bible for some time) and came across these verses:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
After reading that, steadfastness doesn't seem so boring after all.  Someone who is steadfast doesn't change, but they don't change because the full effect of steadfastness is perfection.  Steadfastness in and of itself may not seem like that exciting of a goal, but sanctification, perfection, and lacking nothing?  I can get behind that.

So when we meet trials of various kinds (and we will), we can count it as joy.  Not because we are adaptable and spontaneous (which are certainly desirable and useful traits), but because we have a steadfast faith in a steadfast God.  The wind blows, the flowers fade, wealth and intellect and beauty degrade, but he who abides in the will of God stands forever.