Persistence Pays Off

knocking on door

“And he said unto them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Luke 8:5-10)

Here we see that Jesus gives us a lesson in persistence. A trait that surely is a God send to those who use it. And again in Luke, Jesus also tells the story of the persistent widow of Luke 18:1-8, who continues to ask the judge for justice and relief, and finally he hears her and grants what she wishes for. Let us look at this desirable trait and what comes from it should we heed our Lord’s lesson.

Through out history, there are legions of stories of the faithful man, who falls in love with the woman of his life, yet she does not initially reciprocate. He gets rebuffed time and again, yet does not give up! Finally after much sweat and tears, he successfully engages the dream girl of his life. What was one of the things that won her heart? No doubt–persistence.

Or how about the many stories of the Billionaire, who had to file bankruptcy once even maybe twice before he made all those billions. Again, persistence is the main ingredient.

So if persistence is often very important for success in worldly endeavors, how much more will it be for the eternal spiritual life? Let us look at a couple specific examples.

Recently I have become friends with a brother in the faith, let’s call brother B. He is a SDA who seems to genuinely love the Lord, possessing a Burean spirit. During our conversations, I found out that he has been working Sabbaths in his line of work. This to me was a serious concern.

As many of you know we have posted several posts concerning the keeping of the Sabbath, and specifically the dire results that will occur to those who haphazardly keep it. The Numbers 16:32 story should be all the proof we need to know,  the Lord does not take this issue lightly.

I had known him at least 3 months prior to finding this out and had met with him in our weekly church studies at least 10 times. How I found out was I invited him to come to my home for a prophecy study. It was to be a Friday evening (Sabbath). he casually said “Sorry, but I am working Friday night.” Huh? I thought. So I began to find out a little more about his circumstances.

As we showed last post , SOP showed how we should feel in knowing about sin–

“The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character.”(Testimonies, vol. 3, p.266)

So this bothered me and I found out that he had been doing this for quite some time. The next week, I determined to have a talk with him. I had just completed my “Bible study presentation room” and invited him to come over during the week. He said he would. Later he came over.

As we sat down in the room, and after showing him the room and the certain equipment I had set up to present the studies in the future, I got down to business. I looked straight at him and told him he must start praying and pleading with the Lord to be released of this sinful burden. I told him that the Lord is done “winking” at sin. If it’s in our power to do something we must. We cannot carelessly sit back and think the Lord will accept our indiscretions.

I said, “You must plead and pray constantly for the Lord to help you get out of this situation. He will help you but you must take the first step of serious pleading.” You see, brother B had become complacent. Careless and stupid is the right description, harsh yes, but exactly true.

“Men and women are in the last hours of probation, and yet are careless and stupid,..” ( Testimonies, vol. 2, p.337)

Where was brother B’s persistence in prayer and pleading? Where was his sorrow and disgust that he has to do such things Sabbath after Sabbath? It largely did not exist.

But apparently God had used me to awake him. Four weeks later, at church service, he told me he had good news, that he got his schedule changed and no longer had to work Sabbath. “Praise the Lord”! I said.

You see, brother B did not really need me to come along and tell him what the right thing to do is. All he needed to do is pray constantly, even with sweat upon the brow, that the Lord would help him to get out from this trap! Persistence and pleading, knocking at 12 midnight again and again upon the Lord’s door, and He will answer and give that which is right according to His will.

But prayer without action can sometimes be mis-guided. I am reminded of an old Christian saying. There were two men in a small boat and it developed a hole in it out at sea.  One man said to the other let us pray and God will save us. The other said “let us pray as we bucket the water out without delay.” In other words action in addition to prayer is often the right ingredients.

Brother B should have become a persistent fellow just like that widow in the above parable. He should have continued to ask about a schedule change, inquiring often to let the boss know he meant business. in other words, a man on a mission to get right before God–THEN– wow what things would take place! Prayer and action–powerful!

“Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”(Mark 11:24)

The next example comes from a sister we’ll call sister T. She’s a single mother and has been a long time SDA who has learned the Elijah message and has advanced in the light of God’s end time message. As she has continued her progress in knowing and walking in the advanced light, about a year ago she learned the real meaning of God’s prophecy in Malachi. How He made a promise that when one brings their Tithes and offerings in His real storehouse(s)  He will fulfill His promise to send blessings so good, you’ll hardly believe it.

But things did not go so well even after becoming a faithful giver, she experienced some rough times financially and otherwise. But she persistently continued to do her part in paying what was due God. She did not give up. She was believing His word. Then recently it was God’s time to “pay back” that which He promised. Recently she let me know that she is starting to receive much blessings in her new line of work. Things are starting to brighten up for her, and our watchful Lord is orchestrating it as only He can do.

As we have learned, our faithful Lord  responds to persistence. But He knew that we would, in these last days, become careless and stupid. In Rev. 3:19 our Lord said”..be zealous and repent.” What is zealous? Is not persistence one of the main ingredients of zealousness?

In closing, if there is something desired and in line with our Lord’s will, let us remember this most wonderful trait–persistence. For by practicing this, in prayer and action,  our Lord will “awake” even at the most late hour and give that which we desire according to His will.

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One Response to “Persistence Pays Off”

  1. rene Says:

    Amen to that..

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