Persistence: Useful Stubbornness

He also spoke a parable to them that they must always pray, and not give up, saying, “There was a judge in a certain city who didn’t fear God, and didn’t respect man. A widow was in that city, and she often came to him, saying, ‘Defend me from my adversary!’ He wouldn’t for a while, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God, nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will defend her, or else she will wear me out by her continual coming.’”

The Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge says. Won’t God avenge his chosen ones, who are crying out to him day and night, and yet he exercises patience with them? I tell you that he will avenge them quickly. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:1-8 (WEB)

I have watched my son pitch many innings of baseball. I remember one evening in particular.  He was doing very well.  (And I am not bias!)  He threw a good pitch and the batter on the opposing team just reached out and put the bat to it – and the ball sailed across the center field fence!  I watched my son watch the ball and, ever the mother, I wanted to grab the ball back and throw it back on the playing field!  Instead of his shoulders slumping, my son turned around, squared his shoulders and faced the next batter – and struck him out!

‘Persistence’ is useful ‘stubbornness’.  It is facing adversity and remembering that life is not stagnant and God is always opening opportunities to succeed.  It is looking at situations with eyes that see reality but realize that time moves on and situations do change.

Today I heard that a young man, with a wife who is pregnant with their first child, is now battling stomach cancer. Another man faces divorce and must put his life back together in a different way than he planned. A girl is laid off her job that has been a ministry and joy to her.

Many who knew me as I was growing up would describe me as stubborn.  Well, I am.  I am digging my heels in and I am crying out to God day and night for these these people and I am not giving up! I am praying for their healing. I am praying for peace that does pass understanding as God walks with them every step of the way!  I have read the end of the Book and I know Who wins.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Even as it is written, “For your sake we are killed all day long. We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.              Romans 8:35-39 (WEB)

But we have this treasure in clay vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not to despair; pursued, yet not forsaken; struck down, yet not destroyed;…   2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (WEB)

I grab on to Jesus and how He saved me from certain death – eternal death because of my sins.  Since I know He did that – I know that He can handle everything else, too.

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