Persistence PaysBy Dan Vis
January 25, 2021
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.
CommentsDoes 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...
|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 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 Noemie Ducelien on 10/29/18|
|I do believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me.
|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 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 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 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 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 Dan Vis on 01/30/18|
|Great verse David! I should have included that in the article. Next time... :)|
|Posted by David 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 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 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 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.|
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