New Bernie Federmann photo

We all know people who have given up too soon. There was something inside of them that resisted persisting. Those who threw in the towel and gave up on their dreams, plans, education, families, careers and, yes, even their faith.

Leadership expert John Maxwell tells of a time in his life as a young leader that he faced adversity and had the temptation to quit. Maxwell said that he was not relentless at all. He knew if he did not take immediate action he would give in and quit rather than persist. Maxwell said that he went to his bookshelf, pulled out his dictionary and cut out the page with the word "quit."

“I decided from that day on that this word would not be part of my vocabulary. This was the day I began on my relentless journey of leadership,” Maxwell said.

What is it in your life that you need to cut the word quit from? Where do you need to press in and persist? It is easy to let go, but I would like to encourage you to hold on and move forward.

The amazing story of David and Goliath is probably one of the most well-known in the Bible. And today, Goliaths still roam our world. They are the giants of stress, debt, depression, economy, pain and more. Super-size challenges still stand in front of us like Goliath did in a valley that caused him to be a threat and fearful foe to all who tried to battle him. You face giants by facing God first. If you focus on your giants, you will stumble. If you focus on God, you can see your giants tumble.

David had amazing faith and persistence. He picked up five stones and lots of trust. David focused on God and remembered how incredible God was. The Bible tells us David "strengthened himself in the Lord his God." (1 Sam. 30:6). 

David had an amazing courage. He ran, not away from, but toward his giant. On one side of the battlefield, Saul and his cowardly army gulped. On the other, Goliath and his cohorts laughed at the little shepherd boy. No one believed in David but God and David himself. 

David was persistent. David didn't think one rock would do. He knew Goliath had four behemoth relatives. For all David knew, they'd come running over the hill to defend their family member.

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Never give up. One prayer might not be enough. One apology might not do it. One day or month of treating our spouse or parents different may not resolve the relational issues, but don’t give up.

Failure is often used as an excuse or reason to not pursue a goal or to give up easily. Yet, failure is a source of motivation when viewed constructively and it is not something to be afraid of.

Persistence is not something you do with external goals, but it is something you do internally. It’s the fire you keep trying to start inside yourself until it grows and becomes bigger and bigger. Then, everything you touch seems different as you persist. It takes preparation, it takes drive and desire but in the end it is worth it all.

Don’t give up, persist!

Bernie Federmann is senior pastor of the Lompoc Foursquare Church and chaplain to Lompoc police and fire departments. He can be reached through mylfc.com.

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