Friday, December 16, 2022

The Payoff for Persistence - Martin Wiles

the payoff for persistence
And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. Luke 11:9 NLT

The assessment of my writing disturbed me. I didn’t agree. The payoff for persistence appeared small.

One of my goals as a writer was to get on the permanent writing list of several publications. By doing so, editors would contact me regularly and offer me contracts. But the editor of one such publication didn’t, so I contacted him for an assignment. His answer disturbed me. He had looked over my previous submissions and thought I had done a poor job of applying the assigned Bible verses.

Over time, I have learned to respect the opinions of editors—and to deal with their quirks. After all, I am an editor. But I didn’t agree with his conclusion. I had written for many publications and had never had an editor accuse me of poor biblical application. After all, I have a degree in theology and have spent years studying the Bible.

Politely, I emailed the editor back, sharing my concern—and my disagreement with his opinion. I sent him my updated bio so he could see the places I had written for, and I asked him for another chance, which he gave me. I sent in a devotion on spec, and he loved it. Then, he thanked me for pushing back . . . for being persistent. He also loved the devotions I wrote for the new assignment. My persistence paid off.

Persistence in pursuing publication with writing is difficult, but not so difficult as with more serious things in life. Jesus gave a general rule for things we are pursuing: keep asking, seeking, and knocking. This translation shows the continuous nature of the verb He used.

When we’re persistent, we develop patience—whether we know it’s happening or not. Going after something that’s not easily attainable naturally develops this worthwhile trait. Along with our journey toward patience comes the pursuit of trust. Patience and trust go hand in hand. As we patiently wait on God to answer our requests, we learn to trust His timing, which is rarely ours.

Before asking, seeking, and knocking, we must ensure what we pursue aligns with God’s will. My requests in life have often been self-directed. If my request takes me away from God’s will, plan, or principles, He won’t answer regardless of how much I seek, ask, or knock. We may disagree with God, but He always has our best interests at heart.

When our persistence finally pays off with an answered prayer, we experience joy. Joy that we’ve put in the work, joy that we’ve honed our patience, and joy that the God of the universe gets involved in our life.

If what you want or need is in God’s will, go after it with all you have, trusting God along the way.

Prayer: Father, give us the persistence to pursue those things in Your plan. 

Tweetable: How persistent are you? 

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