James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
What a struggle children go through learning to crawl and then walk! They are tested by gravity and their own lack of coordination and strength. We watch them day after day trying to get their hands and feet in the right position and with the right motion to move just a little. They build on that first little surge to crawling across the room. Their legs gain strength, they learn to stand, and then let go for the first time. We know the fall is coming next because their legs are unstable and unsure. But, they get back up and try again, and again, and again until they are walking around the room and then running from place to place.
Our children use that same resolve, steadfastness under trial, to learn to communicate, to tie their shoes, to put on their clothes, or to learn the ABC’s and how to count. It is not always easy and sometimes it is just plain hard. While we don’t want them to ever fail, we know failure is a part of learning. But, remaining steadfast under these trials is also a part of learning. One cannot succeed, if he gives up. Christians must remain steadfast under the spiritual trials of life and faith. Earlier in chapter one, James said, “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. Only by being challenged or tested do we grow our perseverance and resolve to do right. This is a life long endeavor culminating in the eternal blessings of God. It is the crown of life, eternal life, that God gives us. (1 Cor. 15:51-58)
You will also notice a connection between steadfastness and loving God. Paul said, “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.” (2 Thess. 3:5) The idea is we must direct our hearts to know God’s love for us and to love Him in return. We must also exhibit in our lives the steadfastness Christ had while enduring His trials.
When one considers all that God has done for us, the sacrifices He made, it all stems from Divine love unmatched and undeserved by us. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Jesus demonstrated His love for us by laying down His life for us. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:12-3)
This friendship is conditional on us doing as the Lord commands. “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:13) We are not perfect and may wobble or stumble from time to time. A steadfast resolve will get back up and try again. With love, a desire to please, and motivated by the blessings of God we will overcome.