From todays Email Devotional. I needed to read this TODAY. God is so faithful.

“Blessed is the man who perseveres.” James 1:12  NIV

My thoughts today are about . . . “stick-to-itivity.”

Okay, so stick-to-itivity is a made-up word, but doesn’t it accurately describe the idea of today’s verse? It is an attempt to explain the enduring steadfastness of an individual who will not quit in the face of adversity, discouragement, or even defeat.

Doesn’t that sound like Jesus? In Hebrews Jesus is called the “Author and Finisher of our faith.” I want to be like Jesus – a finisher! Here’s how the Bible says you can do that. “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race that we are in. Study how He did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – He could put up with anything along the way; cross, shame, whatever. And now He’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.” Hebrews 12:2 The Message.

Such a person just doesn’t know when it is time to quit. That is not at all typical. 2 Corinthians 8:10-12. Too often too many of us give up far too soon, some just before they would have succeeded. Success is not always to the brightest or most talented; success is often to the one who just refuses to quit short of their goal. “The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor satisfaction to the wise, nor riches to the smart, nor grace to the learned . . in a race all run, but one wins the prize. Run in such a way that you may obtain (the prize).“ Ecclesiastes 9:11 The Message/1 Corinthians 9:24. No matter how fast you start, you don’t win unless the cross the finish line!

There is a children’s book written many years ago about “The Little Engine that Could.” This charming children’s story is about a little locomotive who accepts the task of pulling a train over the mountain, after larger, stronger trains have chosen not to do so because they didn’t think they could. In spite of his size and the difficulty of the task others would not attempt, the little locomotive just kept trying, saying to himself, “I think I can; I think I can,” until he succeeded at what others never believed they could. You have to have an inner conviction that you can, if you will.

That’s stick-to-itivity, and often that is the difference between success and failure. The Rocky movies made Sylvester Stallone a famous and wealthy man by telling (and then retelling four more times!) the story of an otherwise ordinary man who believed he could be a champion, and refused to be beaten. Rocky Balboa simply would not give up, whatever the odds against him or the difficulty and pain of not quitting. He had heart, and that gave him inner strength and resolve.
Patience suggests the element of time. Perseverance suggests the element of adversity of circumstance, which is challenging and reveals your character, what you are made of – and suggests some possibility of opposition from people, which is painful but reveals your strength and steadfastness in God, who you are.

Hebrews 11 recounts the legacies of perseverance of so many, who like Moses, “by faith, endured as seeing Him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:27.  Who do you think of that exemplifies that quality of character and determination?  Do you? I want to finish well, and hear Jesus say, “Well done!”

My prayer today is that you are blessed because you persevere. (Read all of James 1:12)

Pastor Randolph