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Persistence Pays

By Dan Vis
January 25, 2021
Comments: 47

These last couple weeks, I've been working quietly on a major overhaul to our training curriculum--something I've been working on without fully realizing it for nearly 30 years! To celebrate getting our three core tracks nailed down, I decided to pull out and update this post from two years ago. It's also a fitting ending to the month of January...

As we draw close to the end of January, and look back over the past month, it's easy to see we've talked a lot about goal-setting, planning, habits, and the like. And iff you participated in this year's Rocket Goals program, you may have even put together a strategic plan for the coming year, and have a solid strategy in place to implement that plan. You are ready and waiting to make this coming year, your best year yet!

But one thing more is needed: persistence. Persistence pays.

I often illustrate the compounding power of persistence when talking about Scripture memorization. A person can go through a short course like our Survival Kit and memorize a handful of verses. They might even go through our entire discipleship track, and learn a few dozen. And however positive that experience might be--in the grand scheme of things, it amounts to little if you are not persistent.

With persistence, a couple verses a week can easily become a hundred in a year. A thousand in ten years. And thousands more over the course of a lifetime. If fact, as memorization becomes easier--your pace can accelerate. And the collective impact of all those verses bouncing around in our brain together, creates a literal firestorm of life-changing insights.

Fail to be consistent, however, and your memorization will soon slow to a crawl, and eventually stop. The few dozen verses you did learn will become rusty, have diminishing impact, and eventually fade away. All your hard work in learning them, will result in little or no lasting life transformation.

Consider again the two scenarios: a lifetime filled with living, powerful Scripture imprinted in the heart, and vitalizing the life. Or a distant memory of learning a few verses years prior but long since forgotten. They hardly compare, do they?

And perhaps more important: what makes the difference? Persistence. Persistence pays...

The same thing happens with goal setting and time management. You can spend 10 days putting together a detailed strategic plan for the coming year. And you can even work at it for a few months, and accomplish a few goals. But if you fizzle out down the road, and drift back to old ways--it is unlikely to produce real, lasting impact. Accomplishing a few projects simply won't amount to much in the grand scheme of things.

But consider the alternative again. You not only develop a strategic plan, but you persevere. You work diligently at implementing your plan, you stick to your schedules, you complete your projects. And you continue reviewing and revising your plan, through the months and years to come, so it is always current and in sync with the circumstances of your life. You maintain a clear sense of direction and purpose. For decades, perhaps.

And because you are faithful in achieving your initial goals, new prospects open up for you. You reach health goals, financial goals, relationship goals, education goals, and all the rest. And each of these gives you more resources to pursue greater goals still.

Not only that, but bit by bit, your character begins to change. You gradually become more goal oriented. More motivated. More committed. Your powers of concentration strengthen. You ability to focus deepens. You become a steady, successful finisher. And all of this empowers you to accomplish greater goals as well. Everything builds. Compounds.

On the one hand, you have a nice 10-day experience. Maybe stick with it a month or two--and accomplish a few things. But you slip back into old ways of doing things, and the whole process eventually becomes an increasingly distant memory.

Or, you stick with it. And your life becomes a string of successes. Each equipping you with new and powerful resources. Each cultivating and reinforcing a character able to maximize those resources. Your whole life begins to develop a momentum. An acceleration. It takes you down an altogether different path.

What's the difference? One thing, again: persistence. Without persistence, efforts to change yield minimal results. With it, the benefits of change will grow, compound, and multiply.

How is it with you?

As we close our month, I want to challenge you with the need for persistence. Rarely is anything worthwhile ever achieved without it. Persistence pays.


Does persistence come natural to you? Or do you have to work at it? How did the comparison between life with and life without persistence impact you? How determined are you to persevere in your goals for 2018? Leave a comment below...

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Posted by Dan Vis on 02/01/21
I think you make a really important point about persistence Jesse, that I probably should have worked into this article. Namely, that persistence is driven by purpose. Clear goals. That's so true!

We do have a course you might want to look at called Rocket Goals which goes through the whole goal setting process. You might find that very helpful!
Posted by Jesse Martinez on 01/30/21
Persistence does not come naturally to me. Persistence is usually needed for when you have a goal in mind. I have lived most of my life a bit superficial and from moment to moment. I would say more like survival then persistent. To be honest, I never had set any goals to be persistent about. With Gods help I would like to be goal minded and persistent for Him. I think living life would be much more enjoyable if goals were in place to be persistent about. I thing goals and persistence equals purpose. And purpose gives us value because good purpose, I believe comes from God our creator. It sounds like I need to set some goals for 2021 and stick to them and see how God will bless those efforts. Amen!
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/26/21
That's really awesome Valerie, about the meaning of your name, and how God is leading you to greater and greater clarity about your mission and plans. I say your prayer request in the chapel--and was happy to pray for in this area. All the best going forward! :)

I'm sure that's something we all struggle with at times. Especially if we have a lot of interests and pursuits. But the more clear our mission and purpose becomes (Rocket Goals), the easier it is to stay on track. Really glad to hear you are doing so well with your memorization Terri. I'm sure that has been more than a month now!!!
Posted by Terri Krovoza on 01/25/21
Persistence definitely has never been my strong suit. In fact, I can’t really think of anything I’ve ever set as a goal and followed through with it for longer than a month. But I am truly grateful for your classes, especially the Bible memorization. Your system has made it easy to stay on track and has been a real blessing to me.
Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 01/25/21
This is a wonderful memo that is very timely for me as I am refining and crystallizing my vision, plan of action and timelines. It had me to reflect on the projects I am doing and what I want from them. I have persisted in areas of my life in the past and notice that once I have achieved the goal, I went on to something else. Your memos always give me so much food for thought. It says a lot about you in that you can see the payoff after 30 years of effort. Great encouragement!

During this period of my life, I want to stay the course so that God's purpose for my life can be fully realized. My name means "of determined purpose" (persistent) and "courageous". I will continue to live up to these principles through persistent focus and commitment.
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/24/21
So excited to reshare this memo! I was thrilled to rediscover it in doing an audit of our Monday Memo's. It's got a great message--and it feels so appropriate both with January coming to a close, and the recent revision of our training tracks. It's something I've been working toward for nearly 30 years, without even realizing it first. It's an incredible feeling to see it all come together. Indeed, persistence pays...
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/31/18
Thanks for the comments everyone! And especially appreciate your emphasis on prayer, Eric, as a key help in this area. And your point about things needing to be in alignment with our goals Miriam. Both excellent points!

Welcome Hazel Brereton, glad to have you join us as well! :) I think you are going to love the upcoming Breakout Memory Challenge
Posted by Hazel Brereton on 10/31/18
Persistence has always been my problem. I start off well then before I know it i'm off track, that's why I signed up for this course and looking forward to be motivated to stay on track and memorizing bible verses.
Posted by Miriam Andres on 10/30/18
Most often in my life, my persistence has come in line with my goals. Now that I am retired, I tended to be relaxed, so my persistence has gone down. However, the program FAST has been offering made me excited, considering that it is in line with my desire to come up higher with God through His Word. I believe this is only possible through His power.

I could hardly wait to see how the Lord will work it out in me through FAST.
Posted by Eric Dunn on 10/30/18
I have to say that I am lacking persistence. But I realized that prayer is the key. Sometimes the battle is about looking to God as the source of our strength in everything. When I first started my prayer journal it leads to me starting my to-do list. Then as time progressed me to do list lost that key ingredient of taking everything to God in prayer. Now that I pray again through my Journal and then again through the to-dos I realized that I have a new vigor for accomplishing those goals. God bless and thanks for the encouragement to be persistent!
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/29/18
Appreciate everyone's comments below. Seems like most start with the same observation--that persistence doesn't come natural! But I also appreciate the testimonies! So grateful to hear FAST has been a blessing helping some of you. And glad this article was motivational for some of you as well. The impact over time is definitely powerful!
Posted by Nancy on 10/29/18
Great article and so true, each of our journey's are different. Yet our persistence will pay off as we persevere toward our ,goal. I agree I can do all things thru Christ which strengthens me. My persistence is to keep my focus on Christ and his goal for my life.
Posted by Phillippa Turner on 10/29/18
Persistence to me is just like practice. You practice, practice some more and practice again. This does not usually come naturally. But with a God all things are possible. I am looking forward to this challenge and what God can do in my life.On to victory.
Posted by Noemie Ducelien on 10/29/18
I do believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me.

Noemie Ducelien
Posted by Jason Diehl on 10/29/18
I struggle with persistence. With the Breakout Challenge coming I found my stack of cards again. 41 verses that I had memorized at one point, and now are but a fleeting memory. I see familiarity in them but not a solid memory. It seems easy to start something, and incredibly difficult to finish it.
Posted by Carole Bliss on 10/29/18
I love the word, persistence. When we persevere we achieve greater goals.
I love the statement, which states, when we are persistent, life gives greater meaning.
As I age, you wonder what your role is, at this stage. When I am persistent, and seek God's direction, He leads. I need more strength for the journey, He will provide, if this is His mission for me.
Powerful word.
Thanks- for the message.
Posted by Wanda Hewitt on 10/29/18
No, persistence does not come natural to me. I have set up a morning devotion time before I do anything else. I have three different studies which I alternate between. If I do not leave the materials in sight I will get busy with other things and forget. Must work to keep doing this
Posted by Joyce Augustinis on 10/29/18
These points in the article have been true in my life. The persistence turned into accomplishments and a bigger picture of what is important in life and I have experienced success after success. Honestly I have been amazed at how I have changed and grown and it just gives me more and more interest in going forward. II Corinthians 8:11Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. (a lot of trip ups, but the bigger picture overrules)
Posted by Louise on 10/29/18
No, persistence has not come easy for me. With God’s help and these memorization Bible verses I can begin to be more persistent in my life.
Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 10/29/18
Persistence is the key to consistence and No, neither come naturally for me. However, the FAST programs have helped me to refine my intentions. They help me to re-evaluate what the Lord is giving me that can help me to reach not only my personal goals but also, God's purpose for my life. You are right Dan about seeing a string of successes when one achieves one thing through persistence.   
Posted by Sherl on 10/29/18
No, persistence does not come naturally for me. I am growing in this area and the fruit of this experience in the comparison is motivating and is my desire. I am looking forward to this being the new norm.
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/10/18
It's always a question of growing in key areas without letting other areas slip out of balance, isn't it Kathy! Glad ROCKET could help. :)
Posted by Kathy Rosenberger on 02/09/18
Having gone from being told I never finish anything to now focusing on each task to the exclusion of everything else,(hence my sparodic attention to fast), I have found that 'Rocket' and the strategic plan, helps me find a better balance and not let other tasks fall by the wayside. Persistence is something I have learned, broadening my focus is something I need to be more aware of.
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/09/18
Qing, thanks for bring out the high challenge / high support principle again. You've mentioned it before, and it really is true. After my Elon Musk email last week it occurred to me I ought to try to send out at least one email every month or two to all our "rocketeers" to encourage them to stick with their strategic plans. Good regular follow up support should be built into all of our training programs!

Cristina, I've read some of those quotes too, but I think they say we can have 100x the results, not that we will do 100x as much. That is, by making better choices, that are more in tune with God's Will we can actually do less but accomplish more. With everyone so busy these days, our real focus should be to slow down a bit, not speed up. In doing so we can end up with even great impact. Of course, that's what having the discernment to say no is all about. :)
Posted by Qing Ling on 02/09/18
Amen Cristina. Thank God for granting us wisdom to keep our life in balance with Him. James 1:5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Your mentioned of 'ordered' also brings to mind one of my key verses for my FOCUS theme word this year - I Corinthians 14:40Let all things be done decently and in order. :)
Posted by Cristina Bastos on 02/09/18
Quite true, Qing! I have the desire to do more for God, but I cannot forget that I have limits and so, I need the discernment and strength to say 'no' when it is the best. In other hand, the closer we walk in His ways, the easier it becomes. I have the idea that I read in the SOP that a ordered person can do 100 fold more. May God helps us all to become tools even more useful in His hands.
Posted by Qing Ling on 02/09/18
David thank you for highlighting I Corinthians 15:58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. - i had memorised verse 57 but not paid attention to v58! Very appropriate for this topic.
Dan Cristina yes that’s the high challenge/high support concept - keeping a goal high enough to motivate, matched with support or one could say resources that are high enough to match the goal, and that’s the optimum situation for growth!

My big breakthrough this year has been learning to know my limits and not reach for goals that i do not have the resources to meet. In fact I have already overcommitted myself a few times this year, and the negative impact has been a strong rebuke for me to take a step back and re-prioritize (in other words, learn to say NO!)
Posted by Cristina Bastos on 02/06/18
Thank you, Pr. Dan, for your tips and encouragement. There is improvement already reached, but more will come, by God's grace. Any way, FAST is being a blessing and a good motivation toward better things.
Posted by Dan Vis on 02/06/18
Cristina, the more goals we set the harder it is to reach them. It's a balance between setting them too high and risking discouragement, and setting them too low and risking complacency. I didn't quite meet all my January goals, but got ahead on some things. February now looks really full, but I'm plugging along. All in all, I know this process helps me to accomplish more than I would otherwise...
Posted by Cristina Bastos on 02/06/18
It seems this message was written for me. Thank you, Pr. Dan. I decided not to give up of good things, but it is being hard to persevere in all the good (and reasonable) plans done in Rocket 2018 program. One month already went away, but I'm trying to redeem the time. In the past, when I decided something, I did it immediately, but now, I wonder why, it is different, so I keep my hope in my Friend Jesus, Who haven't given me up either.
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/31/18
We have some great tools to help sharpen up those verses RG. Be sure to check out our Crash Course, and also the Memory Engine. Glad you are here! :)
Posted by RG on 01/30/18
At the age of twelve I could almost be number one in a Bible Bee. Knew my text and verse very well and could pull the two into one spot. Fast at finding the text in the bible and loved it.
I had the love of knowing it was fun and I wanted to do it.
Between time and not being where the Bee was I pulled away for a while and the cares of this life and the amusement of TV was a drawing card. Now I know the verses as I hear them and know they are correct if in KJV but the draw of the sound in other versions not always know if correct or not.
It would be very good on my part to get to the point of knowing what the text and verse were that went together quickly again.
Adding even more to the list already have.
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/30/18
Great verse David! I should have included that in the article. Next time... :)
Posted by David Jeffrey Grabe on 01/30/18
Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord & Saviour to all my FAST friends!

What a powerful & insightful post, Pastor Dan!
Persistence has been an elusive part of my life, but this year has already begun to prove different for me-"But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" I Corinthians 15:57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Unlike last March's BMC, I made a commitment to the Lord (&myself) in November's BMC to "stay the course" and as you said, Pastor Dan, "challenge you with the need for persistence. Rarely is anything worthwhile ever achieved without it. Persistence pays."

What saith the Scriptures?
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the LORD."
I Corinthians 15:58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Brother John & Sister Diane, my prayers for your swift healing ascend to His glorious throne of grace to help you both in time of need!

The LORD bless us each one in being insistent on being persistent in all things to His glory & honor in the church, which is His body!
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/30/18
Great posts everyone! It seems we all recognize the importance of having a bit of "sticktoitiveness". Now we just need to, well, stick to it!

Floride, 2 verses a day is a great goal and I wouldn't want to discourage it. But if you follow our review recommendations of every day for two months, and then weekly for another two months after that, you will soon be doing nearly 150+ verses a day, not counting back review (monthly and quarterly review verses). That will require roughly 30 to 60 minutes of very rapid review every day!

If you have the time (without sacrificing time for prayer or study), you can manage it. But many can't. That's why we usually suggest 2-3 verses a week when starting out, up to a verse a day when memorizing gets a bit easier for those willing to invest more time. A good rule of thumb is to not memorize more than we have time to review consistently.

That's part of perseverance too, isn't it? Being objective about the cost of reaching some goal, and only committing to it when we are certain we can pay the price. Congrats on a great goal!
Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 01/30/18
Diana, I can relate to your point about how there are "life" events that can take us off of our course. Certainly, there are things for which we cannot plan like health emergencies, relational crises,etc. but I think of Christ who walked this earth and was met with everything that the devil could throw at Him yet He never wavered from His goal. Isaiah 50:7For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. says He set His face like a flint. He persisted to save us no matter the cost or the difficulty. Thank God!
Another great Monday Memo!
Posted by Carole Bliss on 01/29/18
Persistance is so important. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This verse fits in here. When I look at anything I have succeeded with,
it was all about being persistent.
Having a good exercise program, requires regular exercise at the same time, if possible. When tempted to not go, that is when you, continue, and persevere. Its pays off, in the end.Only in His strength, can we succeed.
Blessings, Carole
Posted by Floride Leonce on 01/29/18
Hi Dan,
Great memo!
Persistence doesn’t come to me naturally, but in most cases I din’t normally give up. I’ve been in situations where illnesses and other life obstacles got in my way of accomplishing things, whether for school, my family, or my ministry, but I was able to press on and by God’s grace succeed. One of my goals is to memorize at least 2 verses a day; I’ve been trying very hard and I know if I persist hard and long enough, I will succeed.

Thank you again and may God continually to bless you and your team at FAST!
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/29/18
Thanks for mentioning desire, Marsha. Motivation is important and can definitely impact persistence. But isn't persistence usually better when desire is strong? Or are you saying you generally start with strong desire, but then fizzle out because of a lack of persistence? Either way, reachable targets and cultivating persistence sounds like a good plan!

So sorry to hear you have been sick Diane! There's been a bad bug going around. Hope to see you back on your feet full strength soon. Don't let poor health get you discouraged! It's a part of life, and sometimes, like you said, we just have to roll with the punches. :)
Posted by Diane Castanon on 01/29/18
Persistence does not come naturally to me. I have to be persistent to be persistent. I was hit hard with the flu the second week of January, and am battling the profound weakness that has enveloped me. Memorization has become a battle to hang on. I refuse to give up or give in, so I memorize in spurts which is somewhat helpful. I pray that my strength returns, but for now, I’m enjoying my one on one time with Jesus.
Posted by Marsha on 01/29/18
Desire and persistence work best as a team. What I have noticed is while my desire is extremely strong, my persistence struggles. My goal will be to keep things within a reachable target while nurturing and growing my persistence.
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/29/18
John, appreciate the determination. I should be ahead of where I am too, but we stick with it, and every little bit adds another verse. :)

Diana, excellent post. You expressed how I feel exactly! And it gives me confidence this coming year will be my best year yet, for sure. Thanks for posting... (And hi!)

And you are right Makani. There's a relationship between habits and persistence, isn't there? Perseverance helps us build habits, and habits help us persevere! That's one of the topics we'll be talking about in Down to Business. And yep, Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. is true too!!!

Thanks April! You are very welcome. :)

And kudos on your progress so far Lynn. You are on a winning streak. Keep it up!
Posted by Lynn Badger on 01/29/18
Persistence is one of my qualities for what I believe in. I've made memorization a goal and am 30 days and counting. Praying that God continues to help me be persistent.
Posted by April on 01/29/18
Very inspiring this memo. Thank you for the encouragement to do well, and keep at it.
Posted by Makani Mwinga on 01/29/18
Thanks Pastor Dan. It is a blessing reading today's MEMO. Persistence does not always come naturally to me. But once I keep working at something consistently for a few days to weeks, then all of a sudden I become persistent. Almost whenever I persist, great things happen. The oppose is also true. I am determined to persist in my goals for the year, and through Christ I have the hope that I will.
Posted by Diana Sexton on 01/29/18
I am looking forward to February. Life sometimes squeezes out the things I want to do. My goal this year is to get back on track if I falter and not to allow a small setback to turn into a large destination detour.
Posted by John Gilmore on 01/29/18
A thousand in 10 yrs? Yes, that pace has worked for me. But a health-relate set-back has robbed me of some recall. So, I am determined to persist in restoring my memory of the now "rusty" verses! By God's grace, I will sharpen the Sword!

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