James 1:2-4, “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.”

I like the idea of steadfastness. When your back is up against the wall, the wall is fast and easy. It's there and it's not going anywhere. You might feel trapped, on the ropes, bruised and beaten up. You might feel like your way of escape is blocked, and it is. You are forced to stand your ground. Your body is tired and your mind is fading in and out.

Somewhere inside, deep in your brain, deep in your heart, a song begins to play, faint at first, a few beats, a note or two. Then a line and a chorus. Your heart starts to find its beat again. You learn to use the wall. The wall becomes a friend. It helps you stand in place. In fact, the wall becomes part of your team, and whatever is in front of you best be careful for now your inability to escape is turned into your ability to fight with the wall at your back as an ally.

Turn and face the aggression, the opposition and the fear. Stand with the wall at your back and sing out, This far and no further. As Popeye was famous for, "I can stands it no more." Pop in the can of spinach and take on the light work before you. Stand fast in the steadfastness. Move forward even. Thrive. Chase down the demons. Become the moving wall. Sing and watch the fortified walls fall.

This steadfastness, this loyalty, this devotion will complete you, as James said. It will mature you. It will build you, from the inside out. James died steadfastly loyal to his God and to His friend and Creator, Jesus. A spirit rose inside of Him that made him invincible, with God at his side, and his rear guard, his wall.