Determination + Perseverance= Success

Dr. Anthony W. Adams
Dr. Anthony W. Adams

Determination can be described like this: First, we wish; second, we decide; third, we determine; and possessing our resolve, we press on and on until our ultimate aim has become a reality.  Webster stated that “Perseverance is the act of persevering; persistency; steadfastness; constancy; continued pursuit of an aim or an enterprise; persistency in any thing undertaken.” The reason I place these two words (determination and Perseverance) together is because determination fosters perseverance. For a person to be successful, he or she must be determined because determination will bring the necessary power to accomplish his or her goals. However, determination must be accompanied by perseverance in order to achieve success.

The writer of Hebrews stated, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful…So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (10:23; 35, NIV).

The idea of the word persevere is that we are to bear up under difficult circumstances.  However, this is not the idea of doing so in a very passive manner, but rather with an expectant determination, strength, and courage that resists defeat.  It is the idea that we are not giving in or giving over to the idea of giving up.  This passage is telling us that in order to receive what God has promised we must endure.

French Arrington stated concerning Hebrews 10:35, “As long as salvation involves future promises, believers need to persevere.”  Andrew Murray declared, “Between the faith that accepts a promise, and the experience that fully inherits or receives it, there often lie years of discipline and training needed to fit and perfect you for the inward possession of what God has to give.”

William Barclay observed, “Most people can start well and almost everyone can be fine in spasms.  To everyone it is sometimes given to mount up with wings as eagles; in the moment of the great effort everyone can run and not grow weary; but the greatest gift of all is to walk and not faint.”  The Child of God needs to be like the postage stamp.  The usefulness of a postage stamp lies in its ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.

The Lord said in Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'” (NIV).  However, the key is to do the will of God and persevere in the faith until we receive what He has promised.

Question: What advice can you give to someone who is holding on to hope but has not yet received?


11 Replies to “Determination + Perseverance= Success”

  1. My advice to someone is to trust God. ( Proverbs 3: 5,6,k.j.v.)Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path .God never fail us.

    1. Hi Becky,
      I appreciate your comments. We should trust God but sometimes this is easier said than done. The word trust means that you are confident about something’s or someone’s integrity, strength, or ability. I believe if we can close our ears to the Devil’s insinuations concerning God and truly begin to think about who He is; His integrity, strength, and ability, I think we would find it easier to trust Him.
      The Lord said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
      The psalmist also said, “The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all he has made” (Psalm 145:13).
      When we truly see what the Bible has to say about our Lord, it is much easier to trust Him.
      Great thoughts.
      Question: What are some of the things we can do to strengthen our trust in God?
      Dr. Adams

  2. If someone is holding on to “hope”, I would remind them that at least they are holding on to hope! Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
    If their hope is in the Lord, then they will receive what God has promised.
    (Isaiah 50:7) If it was God who put the hope in their hearts then he will fan the flame.
    (Jeremiah 20:9)
    Last, I would encourage them to read God’s living word and pray in the spirit.

    ~May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the holy spirit. Romans 15:13

    1. Hi Rhonda,
      You stated, “If their hope is in the Lord, then they will receive what God has promised.” However, sometimes we have to trust God even when the answer doesn’t come. For example in Hebrews 11 it speaks of those who died for their faith. “All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us” (Hebrews 11:39-40, HCSB). There are times when God delays our answers and sometimes says no because He has a different and I might add better plan for us. It is at those times that we have to be determined to follow God and persevere in our faith. The fact is it is not a difficult thing to trust and follow God when everything is going the way you hoped. However, when hope is delayed that often becomes the real test of or faith.
      Thank you for your insightful comments.

  3. ~I am so thankful for this study!
    Dr Adams,
    I was referring to the daily promises of God, like “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trust in you Isaiah 26:3. Daily promises like that and not really a specific promise. That is a great teaching point though and I read Hebrews 11:39-40. You are right, we may never see the promise or even the purpose of our suffering but we have the blessed hope in our savior!
    Some promises we may not see until we are in heaven.
    An example of this; My mother had cancer and she heard God speak and tell her that she will be healed. We prayed and claimed it together and thanked God and yet the cancer had spread in areas of her body that did not look so good. This went on for years and then one day in the winter, we were getting such a beautiful snow fall. The snow was falling so slowing and there were so many snowflakes. I said, “Mom, look at these snowflakes, this is how much God loves us.” I went on to say, “Each snowflake represents his love for us.” Then all of a sudden, my mom said that God revealed to her that she would not be healed here but in heaven. We rejoiced and praised God for his promise! Of course, I wanted my mom here but we both knew that we would be in heaven for all eternity and God was fulfilling his promise!
    This situation with Syria and all the evil in this world, reminds me that Jesus is coming soon 🙂
    Looking to Jesus!

    1. Rhonda,
      This is a beautiful story about your mom. So many people can relate to this example. Philip Yancy, in his book “Disappointment with God” stated concerning Abraham and Sarah, “A laugh of ridicule and also of pain. God had dangled a bright dream of fertility before a barren couple and then sat on his hands and watched as they advanced toward tottery old age…God wanted faith, the Bible says, and that is the lesson Abraham finally learned. He learned to believe when there was no reason left to believe” (1988, p. 65). Although Abraham did not see the land filled with people, he and Sarah did conceive one son, Isaac, whose name means laughter. It seems this pattern repeated itself and Isaac also married a barren woman. And then there is Joseph, certainly a man who had a right to be disappointed with God, at least in the midst of the trial that seemed to go on and on and on. However, through all of these examples we see a distinct pattern of what God’s purposes are. The lesson or desire of God is our faith or trust in Him.
      The point is God is asking all of us, “Do you trust me?” Going back to the lesson, trust in God will make me determined. Trust in God will help me persevere. Trust in God will bring success in my life and walk with God.
      Dr. Adams
      P. S. I am getting as much from those who participate as I hope they are getting from me. Thank you and keep the comments coming.

  4. God always hear our prayers, He knows what is best and when we need it or it may be in a different form…come a different way than what we think! When you keep your thoughts on GOD, to serve HIM thru out your day, sharing with others what GOD has for them, no matter what comes your way! GOD seeks to find HIS true followers….so not keeping your mind on … HE coming thru, when will HE do something…just keep on praising HIM, seeking HIM, sharing HIM, loving HIM and when it is the right time…if it is to be… will happen-HIS way, HIS timing. Loving HIM is so wonderful and how you so much want to praise HIM, glorify HIM in many ways, sharing HIS love, and asking what YOU can do for HIM….is the way to keep faith and hold on!!!!!

    1. Hi Sandy,
      I thought your statement about prayer was very interesting. You stated, “God always hears our prayers.” I believe if you are a follower of Jesus Christ that He does hear your prayers. Some people however, are hesitant to make a request of God. Some don’t ask because they do not have faith that God will hear them. Some don’t ask because they do not have faith that God will grant them their request. And some do not ask because in their mind they believe this would be an affront to God. The Reverend Frederick K. C. Price stated, “Don’t think your request is an affront to God. If He has provided for it and promised it, you are fully within the rights He has given you to ask for it.”
      P. Douglas Small gave this definition concerning prayer, “Prayer is neither a fervent effort of flesh or will, nor a self-control exercise based on Christian logic. Good praying demands divine partnership accomplished only by the strength and assistance of God, the Holy Spirit. It is bound to biblical promises and principles. It rises above the temporal, the earthly, and touches eternal Kingdom purposes. it is offered in faith, yet with submission to God’s will.”
      What I wanted to emphasize in this quote is that we must come into Divine Partnership with God. When we know that we are praying according to the will of God, we become determined in our prayer life and we find ourselves persevering in the most trying of circumstances. People sometimes become weary and faint (biblically speaking) because of uncertainty concerning God’s will. However, if we are determined and persevere in our prayers, we will see success.
      Great post.
      Dr. Adams

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