As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. – James 5: 10-11
Knowing biblical history can help you remain steadfast in the face of suffering. Jesus reminded us of this when He delivered the Sermon on the Mount:
“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).
Among the prophets, perhaps Jeremiah gives us an example of a man who remained steadfast in the face of real persecution. The Old Testament book that bears his name records that Jeremiah was beaten, put in the stocks, imprisoned, and thrown into a muddy cistern because he opposed the false prophets – people who told the king what he wanted to hear instead of what he needed to hear. To the very end, Jeremiah’s audience brazenly rejected his message, calling him a liar even as Israel was destroyed. Yet Jeremiah did the difficult thing and remained faithful.
The story of Job is more familiar as a man who endured a life destroyed and yet he remained faithful to God no matter what
For those who avoid the Old Testament, let’s remember that we can learn a lot from those who came before us. How do you define steadfast? My thesaurus provides these synonyms: loyal, faithful, committed, devoted, dedicated, dependable, and reliable.
When we stand firm, we canembrace the words penned by Jeremiah –
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).