Blessed Are the Persistent

By Jerry Newcombe, D.Min.

 

History is filled with people who quit too early, and thus never fulfilled their key task in life.

With a new year upon us, it’s good to think about how God pours His blessings on those who persist.  Even when facing adversity, when the time comes, they push forward with what they feel He has called them to do.

Of course, in the eight Beatitudes of Jesus (“Blessed are…”), He never said, “Blessed are the persistent.” But throughout the Bible, we do find encouragements to press on, to keep plugging away at doing the right thing.

America greatly benefitted from some of our nation’s founders doing just that.  The colonial armies experienced one military setback after another, with only a few sporadic victories interspersed.

The victory over the British was a miracle.  That we could become independent as a nation is an amazing story.

George Washington himself said in his First Inaugural Address in 1789, “it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States.”

Thus, Washington’s first act as president was to offer public praise and prayers to God.

He also said that nobody should be more grateful to Almighty God than the people of the United States because by His help that the founders were able to create this nation: “Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”

Of course, our liberties fought for by the founders are at risk today, primarily because we as a nation have forgotten God and flaunt our immorality in His face.  As founding father Patrick Henry warned, “It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains.”

Committed Christians are called at this present time to persist in working against many of the evils that we face today, such as the totalitarian instincts of an ever-growing bloated government, or the educational establishment which so often provides more indoctrination than education for our children.  The work on behalf of the unborn must continue.

The Pilgrims stated their goal in the Mayflower Compact in 1620.  This sums up well a worthy goal for the committed believer.  They came, they said, “for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”

President Ronald Reagan warned us of the high stakes if we lose this nation: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

The hour is late and the need to get involved is great.  During this time of New Year’s reflections, may God give us the resolve to persist in His calling.  If each one did his or her part, we could help stem the tide.

Sometimes the urgencies in life crowd out the important things.  Here are some inspirational thoughts to help persist in doing the right thing, come what may:

  • Motivator Earl Nightingale said, “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it.  The time will pass anyway.”
  • Highly underrated President Calvin Coolidge noted, “We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.”
  • Hotel magnate Conrad Hilton declared, “Success seems to be connected with action.  Successful people keep moving.  They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
  • Founding Father Benjamin Franklin observed, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
  • Oscar Wilde said, “Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.”  (I don’t see Wilde as an exemplary character, but the quote is good. As the saying goes, “A broken clock is correct two times a day.”)

But most importantly comes advice directly from the Bible, the Word of God.  The Apostle Paul gives sound advice, for New Years’, and throughout the year, Paul says in Galatians: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

So in 2024, may God use us to labor for the greater good that much more diligently and wisely, as we continue to pray “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

 

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Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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