Purpose and the Power of Persistence

Photo by Igor Karče via flickr

George Muller was a Christian Evangelist who spent most of his life in Bristol, England and pastored the same church there for over sixty-six years. One day, George Muller began praying for five of his friends to be saved. After many months, one of them came to the Lord. Ten years later, two others were converted. It took 25 years before the fourth man was saved. Muller persevered in prayer until his death for the fifth friend, and throughout those 52 years he never gave up hoping that he would accept Christ! His faith was rewarded, for soon after Muller’s funeral, the last was saved.

In Luke 18:1-8 Jesus tells the parable about a certain widow and a judge. The rights of the widow were being infringed and she sought justice and remedy for the infringement. But the judge was unwilling to assist her, so she troubled him repeatedly and persistently. Finally, he acceded to her requests.

In the two cases, we see one of the most powerful principles that must guide our pursuits and that holds the key to our finishing strong and impactful. This is the principle of persistence.

It is said that with patience, the hardest rock can be softened in the heat of water at boiling point. No one can fulfill purpose without a persistent commitment to his vision. Life does not always give us what we deserve, but with patience, perseverance and persistence, we can get what we demand for.

Success is always the result of a persistent commitment to a purpose despite the setbacks we encounter in our pursuit. Winston Churchill captures the essence of it when he said “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” Persistence is the key to maintaining our enthusiasm. Persistence fueled by a vision is unstoppable. Like the case of the widow, persistence always gets its desired result.

Do you still seek the discovery of your purpose and it seems your maker is not interested in telling you why he put you here? I want to encourage you to be persistent in your commitment to finding your purpose. Trust in God and do good. Don’t sit idle. Get busy obeying God and following His daily promptings.

Do you already have an understanding of why you are here? Then keep at it. Don’t throw away your confidence. It will be richly rewarded.

I will close with words from the letter of John Wesley, written shortly before his death to William Wilberforce as the later faced disappointments in the struggle to abolish slave trade.

“Unless the divine power has raised you up… I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that (abominable practice of slavery), which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? Oh, be not weary of well-doing. Go on in the name of God, and in the power of His might.”


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