If we are going to achieve our dreams and goals, it is going to take persistence. One man said, “Ambition is the path to success, but persistence is the vehicle you arrive in”. Persistence means that you have to deal with hardships. Persistence means you keep pressing when things may not go your way. It causes you to press on when you know you are on the right road, yet it appears as if nothing is falling into place. You must persist when you are pursuing the will of God for your life and Satan is throwing everything he has at you. You must persist because you know that Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. We know that when we resist the devil, he must flee from us.
In II Corinthians 11:23-30, Paul gives us a summary of all the things he had to face during his ministry:
23 Are they [ministering] servants of Christ (the Messiah)? I am talking like one beside himself, [but] I am more, with far more extensive and abundant labors, with far more imprisonments, [beaten] with countless stripes, and frequently [at the point of] death.24 Five times I received from [the hands of] the Jews forty [lashes all] but one;25 Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been aboard a ship wrecked at sea; a [whole] night and a day I have spent [adrift] on the deep;26 Many times on journeys, [exposed to] perils from rivers, perils from bandits, perils from [my own] nation, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the city, perils in the desert places, perils in the sea, perils from those posing as believers [but destitute of Christian knowledge and piety];27 In toil and hardship, watching often [through sleepless nights], in hunger and thirst, frequently driven to fasting by want, in cold and exposure and lack of clothing.28 And besides those things that are without, there is the daily [inescapable pressure] of my care and anxiety for all the churches!29 Who is weak, and I do not feel [his] weakness? Who is made to stumble and fall and have his faith hurt, and I am not on fire [with sorrow or indignation]?30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that [show] my infirmity [of the things by which I am made weak and contemptible in the eyes of my opponents].
Despite all that Paul had to overcome, he said in I Timothy 4:7:
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.
Paul was stoned, shipwrecked, whipped, and dealt with all sorts of perils, yet he never quit. He never gave up. There was something on the inside that was causing him to keep going, regardless of the obstacles that he was facing. If Paul had quit, we might not have the New Testament. We are still talking about Paul because of his ability to persist. His ability to persist is one reason why he could say that he had “finished his course”.
No matter what you are facing today, you must persist. We all have dreams and aspirations, but are you willing to pay the price for it? We have to be like the Terminator, a character played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. In that movie, a character named Kyle Reese was sent back to the past to protect a woman named Sarah Connor, who would eventually give birth to the leader of the Resistance against the machines, or the Terminators. A Terminator was sent back in time to exterminate Sarah Connor, and Reese was sent back in time by the Resistance to protect her. The terminator was a robot disguised in human flesh, and based on its appearance, you would think it was a human. At one point during the movie, the terminator was blown up, and despite having its flesh burned completely off, it kept trying to eliminate Sarah Connor. It chased her into a factory, and eventually the terminator’s legs were blown off. Despite not having any legs, it continued to try and terminate Sarah until finally she destroyed it. The terminator continued to pursue its mission despite losing its flesh and its legs. It would not stop until its mission had been achieved. We must have that same determination when it comes to our dreams. No matter what happens to us, we continue until we have achieved our objective. Our objective is to get where God wants us to be. Our objective is to walk in everything that God has preordained for us to walk in.
What makes many people successful is their ability to persist regardless of what the devil throws their way. They believe that they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them. They know that God always causes them to triumph. It doesn’t matter what people have said to them in the past, they realize that all things are possible to them that believe. You must continue to believe, even when it appears as if it’s all over. Isn’t that what Jesus told Jairus when he heard that his daughter had died? Remember it is the successful man who can build a solid foundation with the bricks thrown at him. The bricks that say you’ll never make it. The bricks that say you’ll never own your own business. The bricks that say your health will never get better. We don’t allow the bricks to knock us off course. We step on those bricks and use them to go higher and higher in life!
If God has placed a dream or a vision on the inside of you, you have to fight for it. You have to pursue the dream when it seems as if it will never come to pass. When people don’t believe in your dreams, you have to continue to pursue them. You have to be like Jacob. Jacob wrestled with the angel of God and told him, “I will not let you go until you bless me”. He wrestled with that angel all night, but eventually the angel blessed him. We have to have that same tenacity. We have to hold on until we see the fruition of our goals. If you can persist through the pain and the obstacles, you will see the accomplishment of your dream. Les Brown said, “If you do what’s easy, your life will be hard; but if you do what’s hard, your life will be easy”. Being persistent isn’t always easy, but if you become a master at it, nothing will be able to stop you!
God bless you.