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The Power of Persistence - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
October 1, 2022 12:00 am

The Power of Persistence - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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October 1, 2022 12:00 am

Ever struggled between pressing on or wondering if your effort is worth it?

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Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. A believer's commitment to godly objectives should remain strong, no matter what the situation. Today, we learn more about the power of persistence. Everybody wants to succeed in whatever they're doing in life. In fact, many people talk about they want to succeed. They desire to succeed. They have a real longing to succeed, but you know what? Wishing it and desiring it and longing for it won't make you a success no matter what you're doing. And I think this is probably one of the primary reasons that many people never reach their goals, that even God has helped them to set in their life. Simply because they start out and the first obstacle they hit, the discouragement comes. And what do they do? They just want to throw it all overboard and say, well, I guess it wasn't meant for me and maybe this was just a dream I had. Maybe God wasn't in this.

And so what do they do? They simply give up and quit and they settle for, listen, they settle for far less than God had in mind because God has a will and a purpose and a plan for your life. And in order for Him to do that, He also has goals for you to accomplish and to achieve.

And if He has set goals for your life and is willing to enable you to set those goals, then for you to throw them overboard simply because you feel discouraged or because you've had some criticism or you've just sort of given up hope, what you're doing is you're settling for far less than what God has planned and what He has in mind for you. Now, if you're one of those persons who's laid aside your goals and just put them aside and said, well, you know, maybe I was mistaken or it's not worth it, I want to tell you, you don't have to quit, you don't have to give up, you don't have to lay them aside if you're willing to develop this trait that I want to talk about in this message. The title of this message is The Power of Persistence.

The Power of Persistence. And I want you to turn, if you will, to a couple of passages of Scripture. You'll recall in this third chapter of Philippians when Paul is talking about his goal, where he's headed in his relationship with the Lord.

Here's what he says. He talked about his desire to know the Lord and to know Him in a very intimate way, in a powerful way. He says in verse ten, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings being conformed to His death in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect or mature, but I'm pressing on. I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet, but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. I press on to the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Paul said twice, I'm not giving up, I'm not quitting. He said, no, I'm pressing on. He had a desire, he had a goal for his relationship with Christ that would not let him quit, would not let him give up.

Well, wouldn't you agree that here's one of God's servants who just said, wait a minute, Lord, you call me to preach and to teach the Word of God to established churches? Wait a minute. I've been beaten three times. I've been stoned, shipwrecked. In other words, God, enough is enough. I mean, after all, what do you expect of me? How much do you expect of me?

How long do you think I can stay encouraged? I mean, after all, look what I've been through. And on and on and on he goes.

But you know what? He doesn't say any of that. He just says, here's the things that I have experienced in life and nowhere does he say, so I think I'll just quit.

He doesn't say that. And there's a reason and I want to show you that in a few moments. Now, let me just say this. If you'll read the biographies of people who've made any accomplishments in all throughout life, it doesn't make any difference what field it's in.

Really made a contribution to life. Here's what you're going to find. You're going to find this trait in them. That is the trait of persistence. Now, what in the world is persistence? Well, persistence is an attitude. Persistence is a characteristic. It is a quality trait. It is a very important one because as we just said, it is to be found in the life of every person who accomplishes or achieves anything.

In fact, what it is, it is a combination of two things. Persistence is a combination of strong desire and willpower. It is a combination of strong desire and willpower. So if you and I were to try to define what a persistence is, here's what it is. It is the capacity to continue on course in the face of difficulties, obstacles, and discouragement and not quit.

It is the capacity to continue on course in the face of difficulties, obstacles, and discouragement and refuse to give up. That's what persistence is all about. Quitters never accomplish very much in life. It is people who feel like quitting. It is people who are encouraged to quit. It is people who may look at some reasons and say, there's lots of reasons for me to stop right here and lay this aside, but they don't give up.

They don't quit no matter what. In every single field of life, you're going to find the people who've accomplished, the people who've achieved, the people who are really successful in life are the people who refuse to give up. Now, you may say, well, what's this have to do with me because I'm a homemaker and I'm just simply trying to raise my children. Let me ask you a question. Would you not agree, Mom, would you not agree, Dad, that it takes persistence in raising godly children in an ungodly world, that it takes persistence in hanging in that day after day after day with the mistakes that you make, the failures you feel like you are at times, and the defeats that you oftentimes feel with your kids and especially when they become teenagers, you think, well, I might as well give up and quit. Go do your thing.

No. It takes persistence in hanging in there, tenaciously holding on, refusing to give up, refusing to quit because you have a very definite goal. Well, the big question comes when you look at the apostle Paul's life and look at the lives of other people who have refused to give up, refused to quit no matter what, and oftentimes people who have come to the place of absolute, seemingly failure in their life. That is the moment their goal got a fresh new spark, a fresh new spark that lit something on the inside of them that caused the whole change in their life.

So what the second question is this. First of all, we say that persistence is that capacity to continue on course toward reaching your goal in the face of difficulty, obstacles and all kinds of discouragement and refuse to give up no matter what. Well, the second most important question here is this, and that is, what is the motivation? What is it that motivates a person to keep on keeping on when everything seems to be so difficult and things seem to be impossible and their goal seems to be beyond their reach?

Well, when Paul said it, he said, I'm pressing on, I'm pressing on. What is it that kept him pressing on? Here's what kept him pressing on. It was the goal that he sought. It was the goal he longed for. It was the goal that had lit a burning desire on the inside of him.

Now think about this. The thing that determines the strength of our persistence is the value we place on that goal. This is why I've said before, if your goals are hazy, foggy and uncertain, you're not going to have much persistence.

They've got to be very definite, very clear. You've got to have a price tag on it. That is, what am I willing to do? What am I willing to give up?

What am I willing to suffer? What kind of energy and effort am I willing to put forth in order to reach this goal? Therefore, the value of my goal is going to determine the strength of my persistence. And on the other hand, my persistence is going to reveal the value I place on that goal. If that goal is valuable to me, I'm going to hang in there. I'm going to keep on trying. I'm going to look at failure in the face and say I refuse to accept it. I'm going to look at defeat as something temporary in my life. I'm going to lay that aside, refuse to look back, bury my defeats, resurrect my goal, keep moving on, because I know that my goal is worth going after. It is worth working for.

It is worth the effort that it's going to require. And so, people oftentimes, once they hit some obstacle, I mean, they're so excited and they're so challenged. It's a new job, it's this, that and the other, whatever it might be. And all of a sudden, they hit some discouragement or criticism, whatever.

They just lay it aside, fold up and die. That is never the will of God. If God has given you a goal and He has set it before you, you cannot afford to lay it down until you have finished what God has called you to do.

Well, when I think about that, I think also about not only the intensity of it and the value of it, I have to ask you this question, for example. What goals do you have, specific goals do you have in your life, whether it has to do with your finances, your family, your future, whatever it might be, whatever that goal may be. What specific goals do you have? Are you making progress toward reaching those goals? What progress are you making? Are you tempted to give them up? Have you hit some snag? Have you hit some obstacle? Are you being overwhelmed by criticism?

Are you being laughed at and undermined? Do you feel like you just can't keep going on? Are you willing to keep going on? What's the goal? You see, if your goal isn't clear, you're not going to be very persistent. So if I should ask you, and I will ask you, what goals in your life are worth the effort, worth the energy of you working at diligently, not going to lay it down no matter what? Do you have a goal or any goals in your life that strong? If not, listen, you've missed something somewhere along the way because God, who has a plan and a will for your life, He's the one if you will listen to Him who will help you set goals for your life, things He wants to accomplish in you, things He wants to accomplish through you, things He wants to do for others because of you. Don't lay down your goals.

If you've laid them down, it's because you chose to, not because you had to. So what does it take to reach our goals? It takes persistence. It takes that determination that I'm not giving up because I don't feel like it. I'm not giving up because there's criticism. I'm not giving up because it's not popular. I'm not giving up because things are tough. I'm not giving up because there are no funds. I'm not giving up because somebody doesn't like it. I'm not giving up because of this, that, and the other. I'm not giving up, period.

Now somebody says, but now wait a minute, hold it, hold it, hold it. What about these verses like, for example, Psalm forty-six that says, cease striving. And what about the verse that says in Psalms also, rest in the Lord. Now how do you make these two compatible, resting in the Lord, cease striving, and on the other hand, persisting, that is, in spite of all the difficulty and the obstacles and the hardship and the pain, you're moving on and you refuse to give up.

Well certainly, it may appear on the surface that there's a contradiction, but there's not. Because watch this. Because in our persistence, we are to do what? In our persistence, we're not holding on in our own strength and you know with our own energy, we're going to make it work.

No. Listen, we are following the direction of our Lord. We are trusting in His divine sovereignty.

We are trusting in His divine energy. We're not giving up. We're not surrendering.

We're not throwing in the towel. We're not tossing it overboard because we're trusting Almighty God to enable us to hang in there until He accomplishes His goal in our life. Resting in Him, cease in striving is all a matter of trust. It is trusting in the living God. So when we think about what the motivation is, I have to ask you, do you have a goal?

Now this is something you need to take seriously. Don't let this one go by you and say, well, I'll think about that some other time. Do you have a single goal in your life? Or more than one goal in your life? Something that you really believe with all of your heart, you must accomplish, you desire to accomplish, you need to accomplish in your life, you believe God would have you to do that. Is it crystal clear? Is it definite?

Is it something that you can get excited about? Listen, if you're just floating through life and you don't have any goals, you don't have any determination and you're just sort of floating on in until finally one of these days you're going to die and you're just going to get there. I'm here to tell you, you've missed the point of why God put you in this world. He didn't put any of us here to float through life. But rather that your life and my life would make a difference in somebody else's life. That we would accomplish the goals that He set for us and God has goals for every single believer.

And whether you're twenty-one or whether you're ninety-five doesn't make a better difference. God has no place and no time in our life where we just sit around and just fumble through life and say, well, you know, just take it easy. I'm going to, you know, work my eight hours a day and come home and eat and watch TV the rest of the night and get up and do that five days a week, a weekend, all this, take it easy. Listen, nothing meaningful, no goal, nothing you're working toward, nothing to accomplish, nothing to achieve.

Let me ask you a question. At what age does the Bible say you stop serving God? It doesn't say it. At what age does it say relax?

Doesn't say it. At what age does it say just take it easy from now on? Listen, at what point does it say give up and quit?

Just throw in the towel, give up and quit. At no point. God has something very definite for every single one of us. Now, so we've said first of all, what is persistence?

We've answered that. And what's the motivation? You have to decide what that motivation is in your life. But the third very important question is this. And that is why is persistence such an absolute essential element in your life and my life if we're going to accomplish our goals? What makes this so important?

Well, I think there are a couple of reasons it's extremely important. And when you think about what happens when you and I set out to reach some goal in our life, something always happens. So when we ask the question, why is persistence so vital? Simply this, because defeats, failures, mistakes, delays are an inevitable part of every single one of our lives.

It doesn't make any difference what you do. We're all going to make mistakes. We're going to sin at times. We're going to have moments or periods of failure. We are going to suffer events. We're going to be defeated in this event or that one.

So that's inevitable. We live in a fallen world. So the question is, well, why is persistence so important? Because if I don't understand how to deal with those, I'm going to give up. And persistence I believe has, certainly has an answer to that. For example, as you look back in history or look around you today, the people who are accomplishing and achieving are people who are hanging in there and doing it.

And they're working at it. It's a difference between people who have a goal that's burning on the inside of them and people who just don't have any. They just want to get through life. They just want to retire. Listen, if you're one of those persons that says, my goal is to retire, my friend, please, please, please, please bury that one and start with something new. Because that is not a worthy goal. Now, if your goal is to be able to finish your work in this area in order of that, you can accomplish this goal.

That's one thing. But if your goal is simply to live and to work and to finish out those last years so you can retire on a good income and just relax and take it easy the rest of your life. If the burning goal of your life is to retire, you've missed it. Listen, you are worthy of greater goals than that. God has higher goals for you than that. And here's what you're going to find if you read and just read around you and think about what's happened in life.

You and I are living a better life today and it's much easier for us because of people in our past who didn't give up when they faced great, great trials and heartaches. What about all of us enjoy light bulbs? Who's responsible? Edison. Ten thousand times he said he failed.

But he became the most notable inventor in American history. You say, well, look how intelligent, what a wise and educated man he was. Do you know how much formal schooling you had? Less than three months. Less than three months he went to school. So if you're one of those persons and you've said, well, you know, I'll never amount to anything because I don't have a college education or a high school education.

Well, is that right? You can't use that for an excuse. Because listen, if you have a God-given goal and you have enough persistence, you can reach your goal. And God's not going to give you a goal that He doesn't want you to reach. Listen, history is full of people who came to the most difficult, dire circumstances and what did they do? They refused to give up, refused to accept their poverty, refused to accept their circumstance and their situation, refused and decided they were going to do something different.

And I want to say to you, my friend, whether you're a teenager and living in poverty somewhere or whether you are an elderly person, it doesn't make any difference where you are. Don't give in. Listen, don't give in. Don't give up no matter what.

You are somebody in the eyes of God. Don't give in to what people tell you you cannot do. Don't surrender your goals and surrender your dreams. Don't, listen, don't let Satan and sin absolutely destroy your life because you think you don't have a chance and you've got the bottom end of this deal and life just treated you wrong.

You can change every bit of that if you will not trust the living God. Don't give up and don't quit no matter who you are. Thank you for listening to The Power of Persistence. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-29 07:49:38 / 2022-12-29 07:58:04 / 8

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