Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Power of Persistence

Persist. v. - 1. to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action, or the like, especially in spite of opposition 2. to last or endure tenaciously 3. to be insistent in a statement, request, question, etc.

Every morning, our little dog begs to be let into my daughter's bedroom. She'll sit at the base of the door, her neck kinked back, until you open it. She won't be denied either. Should you ignore her, she'll come find you and race back to the door. Usually by the fourth or fifth try, one of us gives in.

She is persistent.

There's something to say about hanging in there. The women from Canaan was persistent. Jesus was on the coast of Tyre and Sidon when she approached, calling out after him, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil." (Mt 15:22)

What did Jesus do? He ignored her. (v23) But then the disciples got into it. "Send her away." (v24)

So Jesus spoke. "I was sent only to the people of Israel!" (CEV) Nice, huh?

You'd think at that point, the woman would give up. I mean, here's this man, calling himself the Son of God, traveling around the area performing miracles, yet He doesn't have time for her? But she didn't quit. She knelt down at His feet and begged. "Please, help me, Lord!" (v25 CEV)

And once again, Jesus had a strange response. "It isn't right to take food away from children and feed it to dogs." (v26 CEV) Dogs? I'd've been crushed. I mean, at that point, why bother? You asked twice, He gave you two negative answers. He obviously isn't going to do anything.

Ah. But that isn't faith. This woman knew what she wanted and wasn't going to give up until she got it. She was persistent.

"Truth, Lord," she said, "yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." (v27) 

Even the dogs. Notice. In that statement, she acknowledged His words. She didn't deny what she was. Instead, she justified her right to ask.

Jesus gave a similar example. In Luke, He tells the story of a man who asks his friend for bread.

And suppose your friend answers, "Don't bother me! The door is bolted, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up to give you something." He may not get up and give you the bread, just because you are his friend. But he will get up and give you as much as you need, simply because you are not ashamed to keep on asking. (Lk 11:7-8 CEV)

Don't be ashamed to ask.

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Luke 11:10)

Persistence. But persistence based on a certain set of facts. Persistence based on the love of our Father. Look at Luke 11:13.

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

How much more. I'd give my daughter the world if I could. Especially if she's persistent. So how much more would Father God, Abba, God who sent his only Son to die for you, give? 

It isn't because we deserve it. My daughter often doesn't deserve the good things I give to her. I give them because I love her, because she's special to me, because seeing the happiness on her face when she receives something she's really wanted means everything to me.

So how much more does it mean to God when you're down and He lifts you up. When you're sick and He makes you well. When you're poor and He blesses you.

He's a God of more. More power. More sufficiency. More wisdom. More peace. More understanding. More compassion. More mercy. More grace.

There isn't a thing you need that He doesn't have and isn't willing to give. You have only to ask. 

And be persistent. He told you to.

Suzanne D. Williams  
Suzanne Williams Photography  
Florida, USA 

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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