Summary: A lesson on persistence from the life of Jeremiah.
Failed in business - Age of 22
Ran for Legislature--defeated 23
Again failed in business 24
Elected to Legislature 25
Sweetheart died 26
Had a nervous breakdown 27
Defeated for Speaker 29
Defeated for Elector 31
Defeated for Congress 34
Elected to Congress 37
Defeated for Congress 39
Defeated for Senate 46
Defeated for Vice President 47
Defeated for Senate 49
Elected President of the United States 51
= Abraham Lincoln
So Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people of Judah and to all those living in Jerusalem: For twenty-three years - from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah until this very day - the word of the LORD has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. And though the LORD has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention.
Jeremiah 25:2-4 (NIV)
„« In middle of book of Jeremiah
„« In middle of his ministry
How was Jeremiah able to run with persistence? We¡¦ve already seen 3 keys in his life:
„« Run with Purpose
„« Run with Perspective
„« Run with Prayer
HOW TO RUN WITH PERSEVERANCE
1. Anticipate God¡¦s power
Walking up to a department store’s fabric counter, an attractive young woman said, "I want to buy this material for a new dress. How much does it cost?" "Only one kiss per yard," replied the smirking male clerk.
Not to be taken back by the harassment, the woman said, "That’s fine! I’ll take ten yards." With expectation and anticipation written all over his face, the clerk hurriedly measured out and wrapped the cloth, then held it out teasingly, leaning forward to receive his "payment."
The woman snapped up the package and pointed to a little old man standing beside her. "Grandpa will pay the bill," she smiled.
Even when he could see no results, Jeremiah woke each morning with a great expectation of what God was going to do in his life that day. He looked forward to the privilege of hearing God¡¦s Word and then speaking His word to the people.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)
Jeremiah was able to persevere because he lived life one day at a time. Every morning he awoke with the anticipation of what God would do in his life that day. The problem with many of us is that we haven¡¦t learned to live our lives like that. Instead, we tend to focus on the long road before us and we worry and get discouraged.
Jeremiah did not resolve to stick it out for twenty-three years, no matter what; he got up every morning with the sun¡KHe didn¡¦t get up to face rejection, he got up to meet with God. He didn¡¦t rise up to put up with another round of mockery, he rose to be with his Lord. That is the secret of his persevering pilgrimage ¡V not thinking with dread about the long road ahead but greeting the present moment, every present moment, with obedient delight, with expectant hope¡K
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34 (NIV)
2. Begin with God¡¦s presence
The passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the attractive young woman with the white cane made her way carefully up the steps. She paid the driver and, using her hands to feel the location of the seats, walked down the aisle and found the seat he’d told her was empty. Then she settled in, placed her briefcase on her lap and rested her cane against her leg.
It had been a year since Susan, thirty-four, became blind. Due to a medical misdiagnosis she had been rendered sightless, and she was suddenly thrown into a world of darkness, anger, frustration and self-pity. Once a fiercely independent woman, Susan now felt condemned by this terrible twist of fate to become a powerless, helpless burden on everyone around her.
"How could this have happened to me?" she would plead, her heart knotted with anger. But no matter how much she cried or ranted or prayed, she knew the painful truth her sight was never going to return. A cloud of depression hung over Susan’s once optimistic spirit. Just getting through each day was an exercise in frustration and exhaustion. And all she had to cling to was her husband Mark.
Mark was an Air Force officer and he loved Susan with all of his heart. When she first lost her sight, he watched her sink into despair and was determined to help his wife gain the strength and confidence she needed to become independent again. Mark’s military background had trained him well to deal with sensitive situations, and yet he know this was the most difficult battle he would ever face.