The Value of Persistence
There are many synonyms that describe persistence such as perseverance, tenacity,
determination and diligence. Each of these words can be defined as steadfast singleness of purpose, as in the pursuit of a goal, despite difficulties or obstacles. Being persistent means pushing on with enduring patience.
But in order for persistence to have any value it must have an object. For example if someone wants to lose weight they must be persistent in watching what they eat and they must make sure they exercise even when they donít feel like it. Now someone who is trying to build their body up must be persistent at lifting weights nearly every day again even when they donít feel like it.
Now in spiritual sense if you want to know more about God and be able to teach others about Him from the Bible then you must be persistent in your Bible study because if you donít continually refresh your memory of what it says then you are going to lose what you have learned.
Now there is a negative way of using persistence which really doesnít take any effort on the person part and that is to persistently disobey Godís Word. This is easy because all you have to do is to do what you want to.†
It has been said that some of the greatest people in our
history became great because persistence and not necessarily because of talent.
Notice what our 30th president of the
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ďPress OnĒ, has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race.
Coolidge, Calvin† 30th U.S. president
believe this to be true in the church as well. The
greatest good done in the
†I have know some Christians who were on fire for a short time and the accomplished a great deal in that time but then they stopped. However, I have also know others who simply did all they could with what they had over their lifetime. Who do you thing did the greatest work for the Lord and who was being persistent? Well, of course the answer is those who preserved throughout their entire life.
God wants us to be persistent in our service to him. In fact, notice what Peter says are the building blocks of a faithful Christian,
2 Peter 1:5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,† 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,† 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.† 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So clearly we can see that perseverance or we could say persistence is part of the basic fundamentals that make up a Christian.
†Why Persistence has a Value
It does not quit.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
Paul was teaching the Corinthians to never give up on doing good works for the lord. Look at those continual actions words again,† be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. That means that God does not want us to quite serving him or others. Can you imagine what we could accomplish here at Lone Grove if everyone has this attitude of never quitting?† Think about how many of us would be willing to teach Bible classes and to teach others if we would simply be persistent on trying to grow our talents and abilities. Instead of giving up on something new we would continue to try and while we may never be a good as someone else at it we can certain grow our ability good enough to accomplish something great for the Lord.
Never give in! Never give in! Never! Never! Never! Never! In anything great or small,large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. - Sir Winston Churchill
Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. Dale Carnegie:
Being persistent can help us be successful in all aspect of life including Christianity. We all know that the divorce rate is high in our country well think of how much lower it would be if people would enter into a marriage with the attitude that they are going to make it work not matter what difficulties may arise. This is the approach that God wants us to have in our marriages but many that get married today have donít have this attitude. Instead they simply see marriage as something they will keep as long as things are going well but if problems arise they see no problem with divorcing and finding another.
It has more value than ability.
We can see this in the parable of the talents.
Matthew 25:14 " For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.† 15 "And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.† 16 "Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.† 17 "And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.† 18 "But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's money.† 19 "After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.† 20 "So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.'† 21 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'† 22 "He also who had received two talents came and said, 'Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.'† 23 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'† 24 "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.† 25 'And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.'† 26 "But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.† 27 'So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.† 28 'Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.† 29 'For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.† 30 'And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
From this parable we can see that the master knew what his servants were capable of doing and he wasnít that concerned about how much they did but how persistent they were in doing something. The 5 talent† and the 2 talent man got busy and they tried to do something for their master and they both doubled what was given to them because of their persistence. But the one talent man did try to do anything instead he simply gave up before he began. Now if this one talent man had just tried to do something then he would have been just as blessed as the others but since he did nothing he was going to be cast out of his master kingdom.
This teaches us that God is not so much concerned with how much ability you have but he is concerned about you using the ability that you do have and that you are persistently trying to move forward in your faith. My favorite example of this is when Mary anointed Jesus head with the costly oil and all the other disciples especial Judas was condemning her for doing so but Jesus let them know that she had done a great thing because she had done what she could and that is all the God expects from us. He knows our heart and he knows what we are capable of achieving if we are persistent.
Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Thomas Alva Edison
So never give up no matter how bad you perceive are at something because with persistence you will increase your ability and success.
Perseverance can do anything which genius can do, and very many things which it cannot.- Henry Ward Beecher (1813.1887)
Persistence is a great teacher.
Romans 5:3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;† 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
When we learn to persevere in the face of difficulty we grow stronger and we learn to rely more and more upon God which cause our hope in him to grow.
Persistence gets things done.
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.† 9 As it is written: "He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever."† 10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,† 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.
God has given us everything we need to be successful in life and as a servant of God but we must have persistence to carry out the work.
Napoleon Hill, who studied the lives of many successful people, stated, "I had the happy privilege of analyzing both Mr. Edison and Mr. Ford, year by year, over a long period of years, and therefore the opportunity to study them at close range, so I speak from actual knowledge when I say that I found no quality save persistence, in either of them, that even remotely suggested the major source of their stupendous achievements."
I am reminded of the apostle Paul when I read this quote because think of all he accomplished because of his persistence. He traveled some 10,000 miles and established many congregation for the Lord. He faced death nearly everywhere he went but because of his determination and persistence he made huge difference in the furthering of the gospel and wining souls to Christ. Everyone in this room has the ability within to do great things for God but you must have the right attitude that you can do all things through Christ. Besides all of this Jesus makes it clear that we must learn persistent as Christians if want to make to heaven,
Revelation 2:10 "Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Perseverance is the rope that ties the soul to the doorpost of heaven. - Frances J. Roberts
Jesus is great example of persistence as he remained faithful unto God and even endured the cross as,
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,† 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Remember we are to do our best to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. We can also see that God is persistent in seeking the lost,
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
We also need to keep in mind that our enemy the devil is persistent as well and he continues to try to bring us down,
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.† 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
But you see if we are persistent in our faith then we can overcome the devil persistence by resisting him in the faith.†
Lets examine a few examples that Teach the Value of Persistence
Luke 18:1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,† 2 saying: "There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.† 3 "Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, 'Get justice for me from my adversary.'† 4 "And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, 'Though I do not fear God nor regard man,† 5 'yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.' "† 6 Then the Lord said, "Hear what the unjust judge said.† 7 "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?† 8 "I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"
Jesus teaches us a great lesson here on persistence in our prayer life. We can see that this unjust Judge didnít really care about anyone and at first he denied justice to this widow but because of her persistence she caused the judge to act. So, Jesus is saying if this widow can get this unjust judge to listen with her persistence just think about how much God will respond to your persistent requests considering he loves and cares for you.
Another examples comes from,
Matthew 15:22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came
from that region and cried out to Him, saying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord,
Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed."† 23 But He answered her not a word.
And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, "Send her away, for she
cries out after us."† 24
But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the
This women didnít give up even though she facing rejection in the beginning. The apostles were against here and Jesus was giving her the silent treatment, but because her persistent she got Jesus attention and he healed her daughter. These examples should encourage us to be persistent in every aspect of our lives.
†How to Build Persistence in Our Lives?
You need to know what you want to achieve.†
Romans 8:24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?† 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Paul is talking about heaven† here and every Christian should desire to make heaven their goal. Once you know what you goal is you must not be afraid to start working toward your goal and since we know that Godís Word tells us what we must do to achieve our goal we must make it a part of lives and to do what we can to live our life by it. We must understand that sometime we fail and fall down in sin but what important is that get back up and not stay down. As,
"It's not whether you get knocked down. It's whether you get up again." -- Vince Lombardi,
We must also learn to be optimistic in doing the Lordís work and to realize that whatever righteous thing we do in his name bring glory and honor to him even if we donít see the results of what we did. We must learn to count the cost of discipleship as,
Revelation 3:10 "Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.† 11 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.† 12 "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.† 13 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." '
Death and sorrow will be the companions of our journey; hardship our garment; constancy and valor our only shield. We must be united, we must be undaunted, we must be inflexible. -- Sir Winston Churchill, 1940
We must also understand that we must give up worldly things to be pleasing to God.
One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it. Sidney Coe Howard (1891.1939)
We must also learn to never quite even when people criticize us or belittle us to holding to our faith because their harsh words will mean very little in the end. As,
I do the very best I know how--the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, then angels swearing I was right would make no difference. - Abraham Lincoln
We must also learn from our mistakes that we make along the way† and always be willing to seek wisdom. We should always be willing to give our best to God. We must never stop growing in the Grace and the knowledge of our Lord. This how we can build persistence in our lives.