Persistence

“Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs” Luke 11:5-8

One of the great examples of persistence is Abraham Lincoln. The word “quit” didn’t seem to be in his dictionary. Born into poverty, Lincoln faced defeat all his life. But he learnt to do what he could with what he had. He never gave up. He believed, “A duty to strive is the duty of all of us.” Here’s a sketch of his road to the White House:

1816 His family was forced out of their home and he had to work to support them.

1818 His mother died.

1831 Failed in business.

1832 Ran for State Legislature – lost.

1832 Lost his job. Wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.

1833 Borrowed money from a friend to start a business and was bankrupt by the end of the year. Spent the next seventeen years paying back the debt.

1834 Ran for State Legislature again – won.

1835 Engaged to be married. Fiancée died and his heart was broken.

1836 Had a nervous breakdown and was bed-bound for six months.

1838 Sought to become speaker of the State Legislature – defeated.

1840 Sought to become elector – defeated.

1843 Ran for Congress – lost.

1846 Ran for Congress – won. Went to Washington and did a good job.

1848 Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.

1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.

1854 Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.

1856 Sought the vice-presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – got less than 100 votes.

1858 Ran for Senate of the United States – lost again.

1860 Elected President of the United States.

So if you’ve had a disappointment recently, don’t give up, press on, pick yourself up, dust yourself off – give it another go. Remember, a slip is not a fall.

In The Parable of the Persistent Widow, Christ says, “Will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly” Luke 18:7-8.

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