A boy saved up his money and bought himself a nice pair of ice skates. Not long afterward he had his mom drive him to the local skating rink so that he could learn to skate. The mother watched as time and time again the boy fell on the ice. Finally, she said to him, “Son, I think you should quit before you kill yourself.” To that the boy replied, “I didn’t buy these skates to learn how to quit. I bought them to learn how to skate.”
The Bible has a lot to say about the importance of perseverance. Here are some selected passages (all from the N.K.J.V.):
- Romans 5:3-4: And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
- Hebrews 12:1: Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
- Ephesians 6:10: And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
- Hebrews 10:36: For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.
- Ephesians 6:17-18: And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…
Notice several lessons from this list of passages. First, perseverance produces character (Romans 5:3-4). Second, we have trouble persevering in worthy causes because our sins trip us up so easily (Hebrews 12:1). Third, even if our sins don’t trip us up, we are still very susceptible to growing weary while doing good (Ephesians 6:10). Fourth, God’s promise can’t be realized until you have endured in doing that which is His will (Hebrews 10:36). Fifth, prayer is the secret to being able to persevere (Ephesians 6:17-18).
I don’t know where this post finds you today, but if you are somewhere in the middle of completing something that you know is God’s will, keep going. Whatever you do, don’t stop. Don’t fall short of the finish line. Don’t abort the mission. If you feel like quitting, then pray and persevere, pray and persevere, and pray and persevere some more until the assignment is completed. Remember, God’s promise doesn’t await the one who quits. It awaits the one who perseveres.