Pastor Arnold convincingly illustrates the fine excellent way of perseverance as a lifestyle that leads to success and eternal victories.
In 1952, a fledgling business called Rocket Chemical Company, and a staff of three, set out to create a line of rust-prevention solvents and degreasers for use in the aerospace industry. It took them 40 attempts to perfect their formula. The original secret formula for WD-40 – which stands for Water Displacement, 40th attempt,-- is still in use today. Another amazing story of persistence!
In Judges 8:4, it is said of Gideon, "And Gideon came to the Jordan and passed over, he and three hundred men who were with him, faint yet pursuing." The New English Bible words it this way, "Gideon...and his three hundred men crossed over to continue the pursuit, weary though they were." They had battled the whole night, yet there was still work to do. With resolve of heart, they kept pressing on, even though they were tired.
David Livingstone stated, "But for the belief that the Holy Spirit works and will work, I should give up in despair. I am a missionary, heart and soul. I am ready to go anywhere, provided it be forward."
In John 4:38, Jesus said, "I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors." He reminds them that they would reap, because others have labored before them. The work of the laborer is more difficult than that of the reaper. The word for "labored" here means, "to toil to the point of exhaustion," and is the same word used of Christ, where we read, "Jesus, therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well" (John 4:6).
Martin Luther said, "The ministry is not an idle man's occupation."
When LeBaron Briggs was the Academic Dean at Harvard University, a graduate student came to his office to explain why he failed to complete the thesis for his master's degree on time. The student told him, "I haven't been feeling well." Dean Briggs replied, 'Young man, I think it's time you realize that most of the work done in this world is done by people who aren't feeling well."
In Judges 5:15, the Bible reads, "Among the divisions of Reuben, there were great resolves of heart." God told Ezekiel in advance he was not running a sprint, but a marathon (3:4, 7 – 9).
In Acts 19:21, we read that Paul "purposed in his spirit...to go to Jerusalem." Furthermore, when Paul challenged Timothy to "fight the good fight of faith," he was speaking of an eager, intense determination to be a finisher (1 Timothy 6:12).
The late C. M. Ward made this observation about the way people react to circumstances: "Win the victory within and you have already won it without."
At Chamonix, the beautiful little French Alpine village at the base of Mont Blanc, there is a very significant monument erected in the memory of one who possessed so much vision and determination, that he was willing to give his life in pursuit of his purpose. It compliments his intrepid spirit, because he was not satisfied to stay in the valley, but wanted to go higher. It has these simple words: "He Died Climbing."
"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to success is always to try just one more time" – Thomas Edison.
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida 34654