IVP - Online Pulpit - Persistence - A Critical Need of a Leader

March 1, 2008

Persistence - A Critical Need of a Leader

Victory belongs neither to the faint-hearted nor to the weak-willed or the uncommitted. Not if the enemy is great and his resolution strong. Only by facing the opponent head-on with undaunted valor can the battle be won. Victory necessitates that we fight on with undying, inflexible persistence.

People living significant lives accomplish the seemingly impossible because they never give up. They never buckle under. Despite mounting criticism, intense opposition and overwhelming obstacles, they persevere with determined resolve. They refuse to throw in the towel.

Often, the easiest thing would be to quit. Just give up. Return to the comfort and convenience of mediocrity. Forget about one’s dream, one’s passion, one’s goal. Give in to the words of the critics, give up to the opposition and give way to the obstacles. Simply tuck tail and run away.

There is great power in persistence. The race is not always won by the fastest. The game is not won by the strongest. Winners are those who keep on keeping on, who refuse to give up.

Former President Calvin Coolidge wrote:

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan “Press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

Consider the words of race car driver Rick Mears:

To finish first you must first finish.

And Napoleon Hill, after studying the lives of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, said:

I had the happy privilege of analyzing both Mr. Edison and Mr. Ford, year by year, over a long period of years, and therefore the opportunity to study them at close range, so I speak from actual knowledge when I say that I found no quality save persistence in either one of them that even remotely suggested the major source of their stupendous achievements.

It is always too soon to quit. One of the most powerful and destructive tools that Satan has in his arsenal is discouragement. The subtle but dangerous compulsion to give up, to quit, to say “What’s the use?”

When you are tempted to quit, resist. We must endure in the battle until the evil day is over. We must press on in the face of the temptation to quit. Until the war is over, we must fight to the end. Until the race is finished, we must keep running. Until the wall is built, we must keep stacking bricks. Never give up. Never.

In a race it doesn’t matter who starts but who finishes. In a ball game the most meaningless statistic is the half-time score. Persistence is the power that keeps us from giving up. We need to be like an oak tree. An oak tree is a little nut that refused to give up his ground. Have you ever wondered how the snail made it to the ark? By persistence.

We will be buffeted and pummeled. We will be criticized and opposed. We will be attacked and assaulted. We will struggle and fall. But we must fight one more round. We must rise each time we fall.

Posted by Rick Ezell at March 1, 2008 9:34 AM Bookmark and Share

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