P is for Persistence

 

per sist   per, through +  sistere, cause to stand  1 to refuse to give up, esp. when faced with opposition 2 to continue insistently 3 to endure; remain        

Webster’s New Dictionary

 

Persistence is necessary if we are going to receive the best of what God has for us. Persistence as defined by Webster is a characteristic each of us must take on if we are to finish the race. Each person has his or her own personal journey in life that eventually has a finish line. There will be trials and obstacles to deter you from finishing. There will also be distractions to steer you off course and away from your goal. In order to overcome these pitfalls Persistence is a necessary virtue, one that separates those who could from those who would.

Success, prosperity or being fruitful requires a steadfast determination to refuse to give up. Giving up is quite easy, it’s done by millions each day. When the road is rough and trials are difficult and especially when you can’t even fathom an end to your race it is easy to give up. Your emotions, if not properly focused, will coax you to quit, fooling yourself that your race isn’t that important to finish or suggesting “what difference does it really make?”  Ill influences whether the enemy or even well-intentioned people in your life can convince you that your struggle isn’t worth the frustration or you are wasting your time. It is vital that you stay persistent, defiant that you will not quit until your race is done. This will require shutting some people out of your life if necessary and simply refusing to listen to others who really don’t mean you any harm but can in no way see the vision God has instilled in your heart.

Persistence entails a deep down determination that you will not stop no matter what. Christ said to the disciples in Matthew 18: 3 “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” This verse is usually explained on several levels but one point to explore is that children are persistent. If you are going to complete your race you will need to have a childlike persistence in the approach that you take.

Most children are very persistent! If you promise something to a child, that kid is going to nag you about it until you fulfill the task that you promised to fulfill. Children usually have no shame in asking for what they want.  When kids have questions, they will ask and ask and ask. They don’t tire they just keep on going, talking and doing whatever is fixed on their minds. Like children, we should have our goals fixed in our minds and keep doing, asking and whatever else is necessary to make those things come to pass.

Often we know what we should do but we are not persistent in following through with these things. We should be persistent in praying, not just on Sundays or meal times but throughout the day. Persistence in obedience would make us so much more successful and more readily receive the rewards God would have for each of us. Persistently implementing good habits, discarding bad habits and influences in addition to avoiding those temptations that are pitfalls are often things we know we should do but we fail to do. Instead we often begin with good intentions but soon give up our efforts. Start, stop , start, stop, start, stop until one day we finally “get it” and follow through so we can go on to the next level. If we are persistent in our pursuits of what we should do, this enhances the potential of what we can do.

Finally, persistence denotes a quality of endurance. It is essential that we stay rooted in the Word of God consistently and not just when we are inclined to. We must remain faithful, hope filled and fearless. It is not as hard to get to where you need to be as it is to stay where you need to be to receive God’s best. You must position yourself and stay, remain, endure full of expectation, determined to do your best no matter what. Often we know what we should do but fail to do it more than a couple of days, weeks or even months. Instead, strive to be persistent, like a nagging gnat that refuses to lose its “buzz” for God. Chew on God’s word like a bulldog that refuses to let loose persistent and unfailing in his grip. Persist, or refuse to give up on your goals and God’s purpose for you no matter what it may be and no matter what your current circumstances. Persist in claiming what God has placed in your heart to the point that people just think you are crazy!

P is for persistence. Remain and endure strong in the Lord. Refuse to give up. Continue your race no matter what.

Heavenly father, I pray that I am persistent in my pursuit of your best for my life. I pray for the strength and fortitude to keep going when I don’t feel like it and other people think I am losing my mind. I pray to persist in doing what is right and walking away from those things that would remove your presence from me. Thank you for these things, I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen

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