The Power of Persistence

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Persistence is an integral part of commitment. We are not committed just as long as the path is easy. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. They persist.

President Calvin Coolidge once said “Nothing in this 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 “Press On” has solved and always will solve most problems of the human race.”

I read about a man who received a notice in the mail concerning his magazine subscription. He wrote stating he would not renew the subscription. When the magazine responded, there was a glitch in the computer and they sent him 39,470 renewal notices. He finally sent back a message “I give up. Renew it.”

Read Luke 11:5-10. Jesus tells about a man who came to his neighbor at midnight and persistently knocked on his door requesting bread.

In New Testament days a house had a lower level where the animals were kept so they would be sheltered from the storm and wind. The families all slept together in one place on a slightly raised level. It was extremely disturbing when one of them had to get up, step over the family members and the animals and wake everybody up.

That is why, when the man of the house heard the knock at the door, he said, “Don’t trouble me. The door is shut and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you any bread.”

The man continued to knock and beg for bread. It would be easy to suggest that he had not planned well and ran out of bread. It might be argued that it is not appropriate to drop in unexpectedly and expect food. At any rate he wanted bread and he was persistent.

Finally, because of the persistence of the neighbor, Jesus says, “He may not get up and give you bread, just because you are a friend, but he will get up and give you as much as you need simply because you are not ashamed to keep on asking.” Luke 11:8 LEV)

When God gives us the opportunity to serve Him in a specific way, we need to be persistent. Sometimes it may inconvenience us and other people, but if the cause is big enough, there is no limit to the persistence that we need to exert.

Remember – in the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins – not because of its strength but rather its persistence.

Persistence is powerful – and pays off!

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