The one who began will continue right up to the end. Being the original finisher, He will persist. You are comforted to know that Jesus Christ would not be talked out of a plan that has to do with developing you. Since you are to be “imitators of God” we ought to be about the business of persistence. Persistence pays. It is a costly investment, but the dividends are so much greater than the original outlay that you will almost forget the price. And if the final benefits are really significant, you will wonder why you ever hesitated to begin with.

Anne Mansfield Sullivan had a host of folks telling her that the blind seven year old girl was not worth it. But Anne persisted in spite of physical abuse, mealtime madness and even thankless parents. In her heart, she knew it was worth all the pain. Within two years, the girl was able to read and write in braille. She ultimately graduated from Radcliffe College, where Miss Sullivan had spelled each lecture into her hand and finally Helen Keller devoted the rest of her life to aid the deaf and the blind. Can the military battles  be won without persistence? How about the great music that would never have been finished, the grand pieces of art that would never have graced museums, cathedrals and monuments the world over? Back behind the beauty of each work is a dream that would not die mixed the dogged determination of a genius of whom this indifferent world is not worthy.

Think also of the speeches, sermons, the Book that have shaped thinking, infused new hope, prompted fresh faith and aroused the will to win.  A couple of men who were working alongside the inventor Thomas Edison were weary to the point of exasperation, one man sighed, ‘What a waste! We have tried no less than seven hundred experiments and nothing has worked.’ With an optimistic twinkle in his eye, Edison exclaimed, ‘We now know seven hundred things that won’t work. We are closer than we have ever been before.’ Finally he succeeded.

God’s love for His people, the Jews persist to this very day even though they have disobeyed Him more often than they have loved Him in return. And just think of His patient persistence in continually reaching out to the lost “…not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). And how about His persistence with us? You and I can recall one time after another when He could have wiped us out of the human race, but He did not. Why? His Spirit is willing, but our flesh is weak. Unlike our Father, we tend to fade in the stretch. Ezekiel’s call from the Lord in Ezekiel 2:1-8 will motivate your persistence in completing the tasks God has given you.