Copyright © 2011-2018 | Esther Joy Fajoye
They say that when you really want something you will be completely dedicated to getting it and will put in a large amount of hard work and effort. This includes remaining persistent and not giving up, no matter what happens, as your focus is on the goal. The act of persistency is putting in a continued effort regardless of the circumstances or outcomes.
True faith requires persistence and doesn't give up, because faith is the ingredient that complements our work to receive the end goal, such as a blessing or request.
In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus tells us about a persistent widow, who pestered a judge until he gave her what she wanted. He finally granted her request just so that she would stop, because she constantly pestered him day and night and did not give up. The widow knew what she was entitled to and did not give up, even after she was initially ignored.
We are entitled to receive many blessings from God and He has no problem with us pestering Him for it. He hears us when we call, even the ones who 'cry out to Him day and night' (Luke 18:7). He promises attend to us and provide all our needs, but our faith must move us.
Matthew 7:21-28 also shows another persistent woman who did not leave Jesus until He blessed her. She wasn't a Jew and was therefore, an outsider. However, she did not let this stop her. She still believed in Jesus and wanted to receive Him and all His blessings. She had great courage to respond to Jesus saying, 'even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the masters table.' She knew how she was perceived by other Jews, but still wanted to receive what Jesus had to offer and so responded with faith. She refused to walk away without a blessing. Jesus was so pleased with her response and granted her request because she had 'great faith' (Matthew 7:28).
Great faith also includes not giving up and never missing an opportunity to be blessed, regardless of how long it takes.
Jacob saw an angel and knew that God's presence was near and so wrestled with the angel untill dawn. Even though the angel was stronger than him and told him to let go, Jacob refused to let go and said, 'I will not let go unless you bless me.' (Genesis 32:26). As his faith was great, God blessed him right there and then.
When you pray and call out to God, He hears and does not ignore us. Before we even call Him, and while we are submitting our requests, He hears and answers (Isaiah 65:24). When we ask for anything in faith and trust in God's abilities, it will be given to us (Mark 11:24). God responds to our faith and looks at how we use it in our prayers. God wants us to build up our faith and put it to good use. Our faith must be proactive or else it has no essence. 'Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead' - James 2:17.
How much faith do we have in God's plan for our lives? He promises to prosper us and not harm us, and to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Faith includes not giving up even when things get tough or seem delayed. Faith is being assertive and confident in what we believe so that we can challenge any obstacle in our way. Jesus wants us to have that much faith in Him, just like the persistent widow. When He returns, He wants to find such strong faith on earth (Luke 18:8).
How long will we hold on to our faith in God? How far will we go with it? That's what God wants to know. We prove our faith with our actions and not with our words.