Developing Perseverance in Your Life

Developing Perseverance in Your Life

He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
–2 Corinthians 12:9

Persistence sometimes requires that we continue in activities that don’t seem to make any sense. You may say, “I agree that I need to be more persistent in my life, but how do I develop that quality of perseverance?” Let me share practical insights about developing perseverance.

First of all, understand the value of perseverance. You may be one of these people who, deep down, think you could never be successful because you are not as gifted as other people. Many people feel inferior about their gifts and abilities, thinking that successful people are inherently more gifted than they are. That is not true. There’s not that much difference in people. Napoleon Hill made the same observation in the last century. He spent years studying the two most successful men of his age: Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. And he concluded why they were such successes: “I found no quality save persistence, in either of them, that even remotely suggested the major source of their stupendous achievements.”

Second, anticipate obstacles in achieving your goals. Some obstacles between you and your goal can be anticipated and removed. For example, maybe you want to get in better shape, so you say, “I’m going to start running thirty minutes a day, five days a week.” The obstacle you face is you don’t have running shoes. So, you can eliminate that obstacle. You can buy running shoes. Or maybe you want to share your faith with one person a week. The obstacle is you don’t know how to share the gospel. So you can alleviate that. You can sign up for an evangelism course and learn how to share your faith. But some obstacles cannot be overcome. Think about the apostle Paul. His purpose was to be a missionary to the Gentiles, but Paul had some obstacles in doing that. His first obstacle was he was a Jew. He couldn’t change that. Jews didn’t influence Gentiles much. Second, he was ugly. The apocryphal book “The Acts of Paul and Thecla” gives this description of Paul: “A man little of stature, thin-haired upon the head, crooked in the legs . . . with eyebrows joining, and nose somewhat hooked.” Third, Paul was a terrible communicator. In 2 Corinthians 10:10, Paul repeated what other people were saying about him: “His personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible.’” That’s an obstacle if you are trying to communicate God’s Word. Paul’s fourth obstacle was one he couldn’t do anything about as much as he tried. In 2 Corinthians 12:7, he said he had a “thorn in the flesh.” We don’t know what it was, but there was something in his life that hindered his ministry. Three times he asked God to remove that thorn in the flesh, and each time God said, “My grace is sufficient for you.”

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Choosing Perseverance over Defeat” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.

Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich” (New York: Ballantine, 1983), 164.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.