Faith produces steadfastness

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These are my reflections from Day 1 of this month’s Bible Writing Plan.

Have you ever seen the TV show, Modern Family? There’s a scene when Phil (who has quirky interests) decides to pursue his “dream” of walking on the tightrope. He grabs his gear, and sets the rope at about 3 feet off the ground. He definitely doesn’t succeed right away–he falls after just a few steps over and over again. Then his son, Luke, casually remarks that maybe he keeps falling because he knows he can fall and still be okay. After all, he’s only 3 feet off the ground. Maybe his dad should raise the rope higher so that his desire to succeed is greater than his fear of falling. Phil follows his son’s advice, and he succeeds! He makes it across his front lawn without falling down once! phil-dunphy-thumbsup

Now, what does this have to do with my reflection today?

I think sometimes we are like Phil. We have dreams and passions and aspirations. We’re excited about our lives. Something new is about to start. But as soon as trials come, then we may fall, get back on the rope, but fall again because our ropes (our faith) is only at 3 feet off the ground. We’re sometimes afraid to go higher. Afraid to endure the pain of falling.

James 1:1-4 (ESV)

Greeting

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:

Greetings.

Testing of Your Faith

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.

Take a moment to assess where your faith is. Is it at 3 feet off the ground? Or does it reach to the heights of heaven? Why do we maintain our faith at 3 feet off the ground? Why are we afraid to fall?

I asked myself these hard questions and had to repent of my wavering faith. Just as a tightrope walker maintains composure but teeters ever so slightly on the thin rope, I find myself wavering when making important decisions or obeying God’s Word.

But you know what? There is hope. It doesn’t just end with having faith that reaches the heavens. No, friends. That faith then produces steadfastness. Steadfastness is being loyal, committed, devoted, trustworthy, unwavering.

That’s how tightrope walkers can walk the thinnest ropes at the highest of heights. They’ve practiced. Their body, mind, and soul have been trained. It’s not the fear of falling that motivates them. It’s the goal of reaching the other end of the rope that keeps them going.

And that’s how we can become steadfast. Through daily practicing of reading God’s Word, spending time with Him in praise, adoration, and prayer. Communing with other brothers and sisters in Christ. And when our faith is tested through trials, we raise our level of faith that much higher, so that our trust is placed in God, and not in our fear of falling. Let us strive together, day by day, to reach our ultimate “goal”: to be made “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” which will happen when we are in heaven with God. Don’t give up, friends. If you fall, He will pick you back up. He will increase your faith. He will help you become more steadfast. Will you place your trust in Him today?

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