(The Faith Forum Series)

Does God reward persistence? If so, why do so many Christians give up so very easily?

Did blind Bartimaeus give up? Did Hannah give up? Did the woman with the issue of blood for twelve long years give up?

Tell me, when the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15: 22-27 came to Jesus and implored him to heal her daughter, did she give up? When she first cried out to Jesus for mercy, he did not answer. Did this make her give up? The disciples became tired and irritated by her repeated cries and asked Jesus to send her away. Did she give up then? No she did not! She came even closer and bowed down before the Lord and continued begging him for help!

In response, Jesus told her, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” Did she give up then? Did she walk away with disappointment and just accept her fate? No. Instead, she humbled herself further and said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”

She was determined and refused to take no for an answer because she knew that when she was before Jesus, she was before THE SOLUTION to her problem.

And what was Jesus’ response? He said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” The Bible then states “And her daughter was healed at once.”

When David went through all that he went through, as is evident in the Psalms, did he give up? When Jacob met the angel of the Lord at night and wrestled with him, did he give up? No. He wrestled with him until the day and when the angel told him to let him go because it was daylight, he said, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” Talk about determination!

Persistence was pleasing to God back then in the Bible days and because he changes not, it is still pleasing to him today. He loves it when a child comes to him in faith and refuses to give up but yet so many Christians are throwing in the towel and saying in a defeated tone, “Oh well! Perhaps marriage is not for me or children are not for me or the promotion is not for me or happiness is not for me.”

Maybe it isn’t but did you give it your best shot? Did you give it all that you’ve got? Did you fight your best fight of faith? Did you come to God and pray believing or did you doubt whether he would come through for you?

The Bible states that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways and that that man should not think that he will get anything from the Lord.

God rewards faith. It is FAITH that makes you whole because it is that intangible but powerful virtue that Jesus chooses to operate through. Until you believe, you will not receive!

When you believe that he can reward you and that he will, you will be persistent. You will refuse to give up or at least, not until you have fought…and fought…and fought!

What people say or think does not matter. Their faithlessness does not matter. All that matters is that you receive that touch you need from Jesus.

Prayer is powerful but prayer is only one weapon in the artillery of our warfare. Too many times, all Christians want to do is pray and nothing else. What about fasting? What about uniting our efforts? What about saturating the atmosphere with ongoing praise and worship from a heart of genuine thanksgiving until something breaks? Have you heard of Paul and Silas?

We give up too easily and that is because our faith is not strong enough. We doubt whether God can do it or if he will do it, when we see the magnitude of the circumstances we face and we feel that time is running out.

When we are supposed to be exalting our God, we waste time exalting our problems or drowning ourselves pitifully in them. Then there are those who have given up altogether, it seems and just spend their time and their energy in rebellion against God, babbling about the problems of others. The Bible calls such people busybodies. They are newsmongers and love a good gossip.

Yet, to be strategically positioned for victory, we cannot forget obedience. You can use all of the weapons mentioned above and still end up nowhere, if you choose to keep on disobeying God.

Make no mistake, we make choices every day: Whether to forgive or not to forgive, whether to gossip and give our mouths liberty on the business of others or to keep our silence and to pray to God for them; Whether to truly try to be like Christ or to be content in continuing with our malicious, selfish, boastful, envious, prideful, competitive, self-glorifying, argumentative, contentious selves. God knows our hearts and our real motives and while we may be skilled at fooling people and fooling them well, we cannot fool him.

Thank God, each day that we remain in the land of the living is a new chance to do things differently. There may be time yet, if we adopt the right attitudes that are pleasing in God’s sight, for him to bring our dreams into reality.

To be effective, to get results, we must fight with all that God has equipped us and when we are tired, we must refuel with faith. It is our faith that must keep us going, keep us believing and it is faith that must keep us persisting. When you are persistent, you have no time for distractions, no time for small talk or to fret about what he or she said or he and she did.

Ten years from now, you will observe that the unrepentant gossipers are still in a corner talking, without any real progress in their lives. Truth be told, chronic gossipers and troublemakers don’t ever really reach very far in life, maybe because God hates contention and strife and has stated in his Word that he has affixed curses to those who promote them.

This is especially true when troublemakers device mischief and create discord among God’s people. If you don’t believe me, just spend time reading the book of Proverbs.

But you my friend are pressing toward the mark of the high calling and you are intent on reaching your goal. You want to receive a touch from Jesus that will make you and your circumstances whole. You have to ensure therefore, that your speech is circumspect and blameless and that you are genuinely trying each day to put away sin from your life. You can’t be comfortable in it and expect God to bless you.

Yes you may have messed up in the past but Jesus is always ready to forgive you when you come to him humbly in repentance. I sure did.

When it is all said and done, God will have his way but we must be satisfied in knowing that we fought the good fight, that we gave it our very best shot, fully convinced (and in no way doubting) that he IS and is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him.

Some may deem you crazy, some even foolish. You may find yourself unsupported in your efforts by those who know nothing about your story or don’t quite understand what you are trying to do and where you are trying to reach. Yet, when you take your eyes off of people and fix it on the beauty of Jesus, things become so much clearer. Through your undying faith and your pursuing the Master, he takes notice of you and you become a candidate, singled out for a miracle.

(Written on 17th March, 2016)

Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative or edifying, I recommend that you also read the following:

  • Note 290 – ‘Blessings – When We Refuse To Let Go’
  • Note 125 – ‘Unbelief CANNOT Come’
  • Note 164 – ‘Seven Mindsets That Will Keep You Stuck In The Land Of Sterility’

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