Welcome back to the A Believer’s Character series here at Embracing Him.. Each Monday, Joyice Harris of Raising Boys Homeschool and I share posts about the Godly character traits we wish to install in our children.We’re on the letter P this week. Joyice has written about raising boys who are peacemakers while I have written about persistent girls.
What is the definition of the word persisent?
The word persistent means to continue firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
A Persistent Child
Baby Girl, my three year old, loves to dress herself. In fact, if I try to assist her with this daily task, she often waves me away saying, “I don’t need you to help me Mommy! I can do it. I can do it!”
The other day, I sat on the bed and watched Baby Girl attempt to snap her denim skirt closed. She sat down and tried to snap it. She rested on her knees and tried to snap it. She reclined on her bed and tried to snap it. Finally, when she stood up and tried, the skirt finally snapped shut. Though I wanted to jump in and intervene, I’m glad I didn’t. Baby’s Girls snapping ordeal allowed her to find success and taught her a valuable lesson as well.
A Biblical look at persistence
In the book of Luke, we find Jesus speaking to his disciples about the importance of being faithful in prayer and the importance of not giving up. To make His point stick with the disciples, he shares a parable about a persistent widow.
In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ ” (Luke 18: 2-5)
The widow in this parable has a very specific need that requires legal intervention. The Bible does not tell us the source of the widow’s legal woe against her enemy, but it is obvious she has a great need. Her need is so great that she petitions the judge frequently, urging him to hear her case.
The judge initially refuses to hear her case, but the widow does not abandom her request. She is persistent, likely visiting the judge daily, and he eventually tires of hearing the widow’s pleas. To bring an end to her frequent pestering, the judge finally hears the widow’s case and sees to it that she receives justice.
Persistence pays off.
Why Be Persistent?
My husband and I are teaching our girls about the importance of being persistent. We do not want them to get lazy or content with their present situation. We don’t want fear of what is to come to limit them. When the girlies ask why they must press on in spite of adversity, we tell them that persistence is rewarded in several ways.
- Persistence models Christ’s example. Our dear Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ is persistent. He never leaves us and has promised to be with us until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). In spite of our sinful attitudes and our desire to do things that displease him, he never abandons us. In fact, He’s always working to bring us back to Him, speaking to us through scripture and impressing His desires upon our hearts. We want the girls to be persistent because Christ is persistent.
- Persistence strengthens our character. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he encourages them to remain persistent, reminding them that such perseverance brings forth good character which molds them into better Christians. Paul’s words are still applicable today. When we press through hardship, God is able to refine our character, thus allowing us to be better used by God. We want the girls to be persistent because in order to serve God, they must be willing to move forward boldly.
- Persistence shows God that we are dedicated to Him. When we are persistent, our actions send a direct message to God. By pressing on in spite of hardship we are saying, “This is hard, but we trust You Lord and we know that You will sustain us.” Our persistence is one way of proving that we recognize and accept God’s sovereignty. We want the girls to be persistent because it shows God that they trust Him with every aspect of their lives.
- Persistence gives us confidence. Each time we push through adversity, we learn a valuable lesson. We learn that God is there with us and with Him by our side we can endure anything. I LOVE the way the psalmist puts this thought into words: With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. (Psalm 18:29). As we face new obstacles, we are strengthened a bit more. We want the girls to be persistent so they can see God at work in their lives and recognize that He gives them confidence to reach new levels of faith.
A prayer for persistence:
Dear Lord, thank you so for never giving up on us. Thank you for being with us in every trial we face. Help us to look to your example in times of difficulty and follow your example of persistence. Continue to provide opportunities for us to strengthen our character and as you do so, help us not to grow weary in meeting the goals you have set for us. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
© 2014, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.