Persist and Persevere!

God created us to be persistent! James 1:4, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.”

In life you just cannot succeed without persistence/perseverance. It is the “fuel” needed to accomplish anything. God wants us to be persistent so that we mature! Persistence starts with a surrendering of our will to God’s will and a commitment in our mind to fulfill His plan for our lives.

Failure is also a part of God’s plan; that is how we learn. Very often, God uses our failures to refine us, humble us and to cause us to “lean into Him.” Failure can also be from our sinful choices that draw us back to Him or bring us to Him. Moses failed and David failed…we all fail. It is what we do after we fail that is key! We have to Persevere!

In scripture I am reminded of the persistence of Noah, Moses, Esther, Gideon, Joshua, Joseph and many others…..How mature do we think Noah was by the time the flood arrived? Sometimes I just sit and wonder and contemplate what Noah’s life was like when obeying God and fulfilling his created purpose. Do we really think the animals just showed up and filed in the ark? There were no power saws nor cell phones back then to relay messages to people helping. What about the ridicule from others? I could keep writing but today, at almost 54, I realize to accomplish God’s created purpose for anyone’s life…you cannot succeed without persistence which requires “perseverance!”

God’s desire for anyone is to fulfill their created purpose. It will come with failures along the way. God is the ultimate one to seek to guide you. Often we deceive ourselves into thinking it will be smooth and easy, but by God’s design we are to rely on Him. He teaches us to “lean not to your own understanding but acknowledge Him in all things and HE will make your paths straight.” In life if our purpose were easy, how would that increase our faith? It wouldn’t! When we have to trust God even when we don’t see the end and rely on Him and step even when it doesn’t make sense, it increases our faith in Him and we get to experience His faithfulness even when we fail. That, my friends, is maturing us!

Do you ever get to a place where you are tired of being sick and tired? I do! Or maybe you feel you are “stagnant,” not necessarily going backward but not moving forward either. Maybe I/you/we should look in the mirror and be courageous enough to look intently and ask God where we need to develop “persistence!”

The following is a checklist to read and reflect on to see if anything “rings a bell” or “alerts” or “convicts us.” Areas that may hinder our persistence, thus keeping us from maturing.

1. Failure to seek and recognize God’s plan and purpose for our lives, and surrendering my/your/our will to His.
2. Procrastination. (idleness)
3. Lack of interest in acquiring specialized knowledge. (a decision to stop growing, stop learning)
4. Indecision. The habit of “passing the buck” on all occasions instead of facing issues squarely (backed by making excuses).
5. The habit of relying upon excuses instead of creating definite plans for the solutions to problems.
6. Eyes on others instead of eyes on God. Most often leads to jealousy which never moves anyone forward. Satan’s plan to stop anyone!
7. Indifference, usually reflected in one’s readiness to compromise on all occasions, rather than meet opposition and fight it.
8. The habit of blaming others for one’s mistakes. Failure to assume responsibility for one’s life and decisions NEVER matures anyone.
9. Weakness of desire is usually a sign of being out of step with God.
10. Willingness, even eagerness, to quit at the first sign of defeat.
11. Lack of organized plans placed in writing. We don’t have to know years in advance but God is a God of order and expects us to be.
12. The habit of not moving (laziness).
13. Wishing instead of willing.
14. General absence of ambition to be, to do and to own. Ignoring that you have a created purpose.
15. Searching for shortcuts, trying to get without giving or doing the work required.
16. Fear of Criticism, “people pleasing.”

The fact is that we all experience some of these, but the goal is to lessen and seek to get rid of any of these that are holding us back. Examine and evaluate where you are in life, honestly! The following are some great scriptures to write down and put everywhere as you seek to develop Personal “PERSISTENCE!” and “Perseverance” and fulfill God’s created purpose for your life.

Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

Romans 5:2-5, “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

1 Timothy 6:11 “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.”

Praying God encourages you to persist and persevere. Fight the good fight!

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