Scripture Reading: Luke 11:5-8

And He said to them, “Suppose one of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he shall answer and say,’ Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.” 
I  have so much been blessed by this very scripture. It teaches about persistence. How to persist till all resistances are broken is the message here. Life has innumerable stumbling blocks, blurry answers, inaccessible possibilities, hard-to-solve puzzles, problematic choices and unforeseen circumstances. And thus reflects the old adage “Survival of the fittest”. Everything is such that you ought to be fit in other to survive. “Fitness”, I would say is not a six-pack, but a characteristic of “persistence”.
      For me persistence is fitness, so in other words “Survival of the persistent”. I have personally learned through experience and revelation that persistence is a sure key to obtain anything, from man and from God. Our scripture above points us to this attitude of persistence. A friend who insisted on what he needed and struggled to obtain it. I am determined to provoke you to become persistent by pointing out to you six characteristics of persistent people. 

  1.  They do not accept or give excuses. From our text above the friend in bed gave reasons why he cannot give but the friend in need continued requesting. The excuses were not enough for him to quit his mission. Persistent people do not accept excuses. Persistence focuses on that which it seeks than what it hears. Many people often say, “If only my father was alive I would have gone far in life” or “If only my uncle abroad was helping my life wouldn’t be this way”. This is hopelessness borne out of mediocrity. The deal is if only you will persist you shall make yourself proud. People blame their failures on abuses (like rape, molestation, etc.) they had been through. Forget about your past and consider not your present, but persist towards your future, and you shall earn abundant life.
  2. They are humble and patient.And said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3) Persistent people are like children. They are patient and humble. Jesus Christ taught that it takes these two qualities – patience and humility to enter the kingdom of God. If the kingdom of God requires these qualities then nothing is too overwhelming to be approved with these, patience and humility. Children know how to tarry and believe. There was a little girl of about four that tarried for two years just to receive a balloon from me. I promised her a balloon when she was four and finally gave it to her when she was six. I kept forgetting and kept renewing my promise and she kept waiting and asking for it. Children unlike teenagers will patiently wait and humbly ask. But teenagers will call you a liar and slum the door on your face. Persistence without patience and humility is pretense. 
  3. They are not selfish. From the above scripture we notice why this brother was persisting. The brother insisted on the favour from his friend in bed for the sake of another friend. Persistent people are not selfish at all for they have a heart of compassion. I remember struggling for a bus to church. I persisted for about an hour because the crowds were many and the buses were not forth coming. Finally I managed to enter a bus. When I entered the bus I saw an older woman I did not know going the same way. She was with two little girls, twelve and seven. I guess you know what I did. I gave my seat to her. Persistent people know how it is to struggle so they always do well to help people in a fix. 
  4. They are purposeful “All these things Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable” (Matt. 13:34) Jesus taught in parables because He wanted the people to develop the attitude of looking at the bigger picture. A parable is short story to illustrate a great lesson but usually takes purposeful people to seek the meaning thereof. A person of purpose seeks to understand the truths hidden in parables. Sometimes it takes time, energy, resources and everything to understand the parables of life yet Jesus expects us to persist. To understand the parable of marriage one ought to be persistent, it will take time, for divorce hasn’t and cannot be the answer. A lady I counseled told me this, “I’m the third woman who has married my husband, I have one daughter with him and we are living with four children of my husband. But my husband, he is too dyspeptic and careless, yet I know God has sent me into his life for a reason.” It has taken this woman some years to learn to stick with his quick-tempered husband. She knew that she is in the man’s life for an assignment. It takes purposefulness to persist under such a condition. She could have joined the other two who left but she saw the bigger picture. Persistent person often say, “Come on, I’ve seen something great amidst the present peril. 
  5. They are the friends of God. Abraham was called a friend of God (James 2:23) because he persisted in believing God for His promise. Persistent people are friends of God because they are able to trust God no matter the situation. They do not give up on God neither compromise them their faith for the wrong stuffs. Persistence is waiting on God – it involves depending and trusting God in the face life’s cluelessness. People who persist soar high like eagles, up, up, and up closer to God. 
  6. They do not fear. Our text tells us that this friend in need went to seek help by night. The night did not deter him from his pursuits. Fear is that which paralyzes any individual and consequentially disables them from persisting. The night, lightning, thunder storms are to be overcome if indeed you want to persist to shake off all life’s resistances. You need not fear to apply for that work or approach that interview or to stay in that marriage or to start that business again or enter into ministry or write that examination again. Get up, shake your fears to the ground and match into your future!

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By S. E. Entsua-Mensah. ©2014 Christ for Humanity Outreach 
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