Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (I Corinthians 15:58)
Nothing in this world comes easily. If it does, it is usually too good to be true.
Sometimes when we desire to have or to do certain things, we get a little anxious and don’t want to go through the process. The Word says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6 ESV) This verse of scripture teaches that there is no need to panic about what we desire or what we need. All we have to do is pray, asking God for what we want humbly, and thank Him in advance for His answer.
The answer is not always going to be what we want and not in the manner that we desire, but God knows what is best, so we have to trust His will and His way. When we don’t always get the answer that we want, trust that it is God’s way of protecting us or steering us in another direction. Therefore, do not give up in your pursuit of your needs and wants. Persistence, with faith and prayer, always wins.
Persistence shows that you are serious about your desires. Psalm 37:4 (ESV) advises, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
“Does that mean, if we go to church every Sunday, God will give us a new Rolls Royce? No. The idea behind this verse and others like it is that, when we truly rejoice or ‘delight’ in the eternal things of God, our desires will begin to parallel His, and we will never go unfulfilled.” (gotquestions.org).
Then what about your faith when asking and waiting for the desires of your heart? Hebrews 11:6 (ESV) says, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” What do we learn about faith in this verse? “Faith is a must. Faith is the entrance point to a relationship with God. He interacts with us based on His grace; we respond in faith. Given the basis of this type of relationship, we understand how important faith is to the believer. In fact, this passage boldly declares that without it, it is impossible to please God because the simple truth remains that we must believe that He is, before we can come to Him.” (jcblog.net)
Then there is prayer. Mark 11:24 (ESV) explains, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” The key word in this verse is “believe.” If you go to God asking Him for something, and you are in a spirit of doubt, what is the need of petitioning Him? You must believe that persistence, with faith and prayer, always wins.
Here’s a story, “The Bamboo Tree,” that teaches an awesome lesson about persistence and faith:
“A man got frustrated with life. Despite all the hard work and effort, failure was all that he learned. Feeling defeated with life, he left everything and exiled himself in the woods. There he met a hermit. The disappointed man shared his failure with the hermit. ‘Give me one good reason not to quit!’ he pleaded with the hermit.
“‘Look,’ the hermit said, pointing toward two plants. ‘Do you see that fern and bamboo there?’
“‘Yes,’ the man nodded.
“‘When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them water, light, and fertilizer. Within a short period of time, the fern quickly grew from the earth,’ the hermit continued. ‘But despite the bamboo seed being watered and nurtured for years, it did not outwardly grow as much as an inch. In fact, nothing at all happened in the first year. There was no sign of growth. But, I did not give up on the bamboo seed and continued to water and nurture it. By the fifth year, a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. And within six months, the tree grew a hundred feet tall.’
“‘So, did the bamboo tree lay dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth?’ the hermit asked. Baffled by the question, the man kept quiet. ‘The answer is quite obvious. The little tree was growing underground, developing a root system strong enough to support its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond. Had the tree not developed a strong foundation, it would not have sustained its life as it grew.’
“‘Did you know that all the time you had been struggling, you were growing strong roots?’ remarked the hermit.
“The man learned his lesson that day. He learned the value of persistence and hard work. The fern and the bamboo stood right in front of him as he walked towards his life to continue to work on his dreams.”
Have a wonderfully blessed week, stay safe, get involved in righting the wrongs of social injustice, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at email@example.com)