What role does steadfastness play in the success of any endeavour? To give you a full appreciation of its importance, let me provide some synonyms for the word “steadfast”: unwavering, unswerving, firm, committed, unfaltering… The list could go on.
If you’re among the many who haven’t achieved the goal they were pursuing, it’s quite possible that this many-splendoured quality—steadfastness—was lacking in whatever effort you made. The sad truth is that all too often we approach our goal with lots of “hope”, in the sense of “I hope I make it!”, without tying that hope to commitment, determination, stick-to-it-iveness, and a willingness to pay the price. Our hope soon dies when the going gets difficult, when the inevitable problems we never gave a thought to pop up at the most unexpected and unwelcome times and places. And once our hope begins to die, our thinking shifts to “This will never work” or “I just can’t do it,” which in turn leads to packing it in.
Most people only need to experience a couple of these failures before they retreat forever to their comfort zone, doomed to mediocrity in their careers and every other part of their lives. Success demands that we be steadfast—unswerving, unwavering, committed, unfaltering—which means that we keep putting in a sustained effort right through all the growing pains and problems, dealing with them as they arise and overcoming them. A never-give-up commitment is the first essential step in goal-achieving, whether the goal is related to work or career, marriage or family, ministry, or growth in one’s faith life. Ken Poirot, a well-known author, says: “Success awaits those who steadfastly commit to any requisite sacrifice.” No one should expect it to be otherwise.
It goes without saying that a Christian puts God first in planning and setting a worthy goal, and looks to God for the strength and wisdom required to deal with obstacles and stay the course. Do this, and you can expect His blessing.
Now go and give your goal that second, third, or even fourth or fifth try—this time with a hopeful attitude coupled to a determination to be steadfast and not quit until the goal has been realized.
That is why we never give up:
though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day.
—2 Corinthians 4:16