"Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord." Psalm 112:6-7
What does it mean to have a steadfast heart?
The word steadfast means to be fixed in direction, or steadily directed. To be firm in purpose, resolution, faith and attachment. Seems like a bit of a tall order, but we can have steadfast hearts because our God is trustworthy. He Himself is steadfast...unchanging and faithful.
Psalms 112:4-7 from the Voice reads:
"When life is dark, a light will shine for those who live rightly—
those who are merciful, compassionate, and strive for justice.
Good comes to all who are gracious and share freely;
they conduct their affairs with sound judgment.
Nothing will ever rattle them;
the just will always be remembered.
They will not be afraid when the news is bad
because they have resolved to trust in the Eternal."
The thing that stood out to me here was that the scripture reads, "they will not be afraid when the news is bad." Not if the news is bad, but when. We are all going to face difficulties in this life. We don't get a free pass because we follow Jesus or try to be a good person. This is one of the biggest challenges of faith. Bad things happen to good people. BUT we can be assured that we are never alone in the darkness. He...the light of the world...is with us in and through every circumstance we find ourselves in. And yes, in and through every circumstance, He is working to turn the broken into something beautiful.
In the opening of the book of James, we aren't only told to be unafraid when the news is bad; we are told that we should have joy! Let me clarify...we aren't expected to be joyful because of our trials, but rather we should consider our trials through the lens of joy. James assures us that as we press on through the trials we face, trusting God, something beautiful happens. Courtney Doctor puts it this way, "Think about or or consider what we know to be true about God and rejoice in the fact that God is doing something good in the midst of our heartache."
"Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing." James 1:2-4 (Voice)
The word patience here can be translated also as perseverance, endurance and steadfastness. The book of James is all about learning how to be steadfast! This fall, in Truth & Community, we will be diving into this book of the Bible along with the Devotion Bible Study "Steadfast" written by Courtney Doctor. I'd love for you to join me!