There is an old saying that goes something like this:
"Successful people just outlast everyone else, or they just don't know when to quit, or there is no give up once they've got up!"
There is a word that describes this irreplaceable element of success!
In James 1:2-4 (NLT) it says:
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, considerate it an opportunity for joy, for you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, it will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."
The fight to build, or rebuild something can be very arduous! In the book of Nehemiah we have the story of the rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls against great opposition!
One of the moments of great challenge occurs in Nehemiah 4:6-10 (NLT):
"At last the wall was completed to half its height around the entire city, for the people had worked with enthusiasm. But when Sanballat and Tobiah, and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the work was going ahead and that the gaps in the wall of Jerusalem were being repaired, they were furious. They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion. But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves."
Notice the things that made this so difficult:
1. They were halfway!
The halfway mark is the difficult point in any journey. The motivation that comes when we start has now bled out, the finish line is as far as we have already come and we feel the lack of resources and energy etc. to finish.
2. People's resistance.
Whenever we go forward it is amazing how few cheerleaders there actually are! For many reasons, people oppose other people's advances! Anger, as identified in this story, is the most common tool used to oppose. We hate it when people get angry at us, it makes us feel at risk and attacked. Why anger is used so much against us is because it works. We want to appease. The problem is, they now control us.
The first two are meant to put us into a state of confusion so that we lose our focus and resolve.
Here is how you win those battles:
"But we prayed to our God and guarded the city."
For you it may go like this:
- But we prayed to our God and guarded our marriage.
- But we prayed to our God and guarded our children, and or our grand children.
- But we prayed to our God and guarded our finances.
- But we prayed to our God and guarded our health.
This is where we return to the magic ingredient of endurance!
"But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves."
Sometimes it will take day and night endurance to finish the things we are building or rebuilding!
- Keep going and break through!
- Don't quit
- Outlast the critics
- Never give up