<<persist, keep going>>
Persevering is continuing resolutely, not being put-off by opposition from others, the seeming lack of progress, our own handicaps, or the problems that appear to prevent us from receiving (Mk 10:46-52; Lk 19:1-9). It is a determination to press through to receive by steadfastly holding on – it is active endurance (Heb 10:23,32-39).
Look beyond the present pain to the long-term goal and gain
“Those that endure to the end will be saved” (Mt 24:13). It is not the starters but the finishers, those that have persevered, faithfully keeping going, who reap the reward. Am I committed to see a task successfully completed? Continuing under tough conditions produces strong character. Jacob was determined to receive a blessing, and nothing was going to prevent him and so his persistence was rewarded, as it will be with those who remain focused on what they want (Gen 33:22-29). Provided the cause is worthwhile and worthy, keep at it, be wholehearted and fully committed to it – ask, seek and knock to receive (Mt 7:7,8). Hold tenaciously to your God-inspired dreams. Jesus illustrated the need for stubbornness or persistence as a key to obtaining by prayer (Lk 11:5-13, 18:1-8). So keep praying about everything, believing for the answer and don’t quit (Mt 21:22; Rom 12:12; Phil 4:6; Col 4:2; 1 Thes 5:17). Paul said, “I keep asking…” (Eph 1:16,17). This indicates a long-term commitment. Faith that God will answer, is shown by our persistence in prayer and action; not just an ‘ask one time’ and give up approach, rather a determination to pay the price to obtain the desired result.
The Bible’s advice is to throw off everything that hinders and run with perseverance the race marked out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus so we will not grow weary and lose heart (Heb 12:1-3). The reward comes after persevering – ask Job (Jas 5:11). Moses persisted because he saw beyond the natural into the spiritual realm (Heb 11:27). Like Jesus he looked beyond the present hardship to what the final outcome would be (Heb 12:2,3). This is having an eternal perspective that all things are working for our good, with the suffering developing perseverance which in turn develops character (Rom 5:3-5, 8:28; Jas 1:2-4,12).
The result will be worth it
thoughts captive to the will of God (Mt 13:44-46; Lk 9:62; 2 Cor 10:5). Anything of value has a high price to pay to purchase it. Use your initiative and make all things serve your God-given goal to fulfill His call on your life. Paul said, we remember “…Your endurance inspired by faith” (1 Thes 1:3).
When facing a huge challenge, view it as a hurdle to be overcome, concentrating your efforts on a few key areas at a time. One solitary step won’t take you far. You must keep on walking! The only way to complete a task is to keep at it; not giving up when faced with opposition, doubts, discouragement, feelings of self-pity or problems. Maybe take a break so you can come back refreshed to tackle the job with renewed vision and vigour. It helps to have others who are committed to stand alongside us, to whom we are accountable when the going is tough and we are tempted to give up.
With persistence opportunities will be maximized, we will overcome the temptation to give up when trouble arises, we will be continually moving towards the goal. Having a mental picture or vision of what we are aiming for will enhance our adaptability and creativity to overcome obstacles. Perseverance makes the impossible possible, the dream a fact, the desire a reality.