A few years ago, I wrote a book about influential Christians. Cleverly, I entitled it Influential Christians. More recently, I stated my intention to write 4 blogs about influential Christians. This is number 4. In each, I have covered one trait common to such individuals. The first three were prayer, planning, and preparation. This time I am writing about perseverance.
Christians are told to pray continuously, and if we want to be people of influence, people who make a difference, we need to plan. Once our plan is in place, we have to prepare for the endeavor. And ultimately we need to expect that the path to change is often a difficult one, so we need to be willing to persevere.
Billy Graham had a difficult journey along the way of preaching the Gospel around the world. At one point early in his career, he was also a pastor of a church where some members got frustrated. They were paying him to minister to them and the local community, not to go all over Creation preaching to other people. He took some heat for that.
Graham was criticized by some liberal Christians for being too conservative and traditional, and he was criticized by some conservatives for fraternizing with liberals. But he persevered.
Jerry Jenkins really wanted to be a full time writer. But he was already working full time supporting his family, and he did not want to neglect them when he was off the clock. His solution was that he would only write from 9 PM to midnight each night, even though he was not a night person. It was tough, it was a grind, but he persevered. And as of today he has written more than 185 books.
We live in a world where we want easy solutions. We desire great results, but we want to be comfortable pursuing them. Going against the grain is tough. Wanting change in ourselves or in the world around us is hard work. Charting unknown territory usually means that mistakes will be made. These things do not mean that the journey should not be taken. They do not mean the goal is not worth it.
We need to persevere.