Hebrews 12 (MSG)
Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honour, right alongside God.
Life isn’t easy but quitting is. Here’s what persistence will produce in your life:
Persistence Produces Strength
One thing I learned recently is that each time you work out a muscle at the gym, you’re actually pushing that muscle to its potential. Press too hard, you may receive injury; press too little and the workout is ineffective. But get it right and your muscle will be able to carry a heavier load next time. Keep visiting the gym and you’ll find, in 12 months time, you’ll be able to pull a lorry down a runway … Maybe not but you get the idea.
Your persistence will generate higher levels of strength. Your resistance to failure will only increase your ability to handle greater weights in times to come. When God calls you into a tough season, remember this, he only ever puts the right amount of weight on your shoulders. Never too much so that you receive injury and never so little that you miss your potential, but just enough to see you gain the muscle for future weights. Persist and you get stronger.
Persistence Produces New Habits
One thing standing between you and your destiny is your ability to form new habits. Anyone can sow grass seeds, only few will mow it once it’s grown. Stick around long enough and you see new patterns and habits form to cope with the new challenge.
Invariably any new problem you face will require a new answer. Quit too early and you will not see answers develop. A problem only exists for a season but an answer continues long after it’s been dealt with. You won’t always have this problem but you will always have the answers thereafter.. These answers are habits that will tell stories of previous battles won.
Persistence Produces Deeper Faith
Why is it we feel close to God when things get tough? Maybe it’s because what we used to put our faith in is no longer around? If we removed Pepsi, juice and coffee from the market, we’d truly appreciate water. We need it more than any other, and without it, no other can exist. When all else is removed we discover the truly essential ingredient to life.
Persistence means each day we wake up, we seek God for strength, grace and wisdom. Without His help we cannot possibly accomplish the task. Our faith deepens and our soul fills because we are now focusing on Jesus each day we walk through our valleys. Our faith gets deeper the further we walk. A beautiful process in such broken times.