We have no control over most outcomes in life. We do our best to influence them: eat right to stay healthy; drive carefully to avoid an accident; invest wisely to accumulate a net worth — we try to influence outcomes, but we can’t control them.
Sometimes we get sick anyway, sometimes the fender-bender isn’t our fault, sometimes seemingly good investments go south.
You can’t always control outcomes, but you can control one thing that is biblically guaranteed to work in your favor every time.
What is it?
Perseverance. Stick-to-it-iveness. The habit of getting back up and trying one more time.
You can’t control results, but you can control whether or not you quit. No one else can make that decision. It’s yours alone.
This is how Johann von Goethe said it: “Perseverance lies within the affordings of everyone; its power increases with its progress, and it but rarely misses its aim.”
He’s saying: Persevering is something anyone can do. The longer you do it, the stronger you get, and the more likely you are to succeed.
Almost every minister, missionary, pastor, church planter and Christian disciple knows about this. You’ll have a chance, and sometimes many, to give up before you really get going. A greener pasture and a wider path will tempt you from time to time.
Sometimes quitting just seems to make sense: it’s easy and appears to be painless. But deciding to stay is often the key that opens the door to God’s abundant blessing.
Napoleon Hill said, “Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.” I believe he was speaking from both observation and experience; this principle has certainly been true in my life.
Babe Ruth’s take on it was, “You just can’t beat the man who won’t give up.” (Even the devil knows this; when you resist him, he flees. James 4:7)
Paul challenges us…
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Let’s begin this week determined to keep doing good. Let it not make you weary.
There’s a harvest waiting.