Posted by: everynation | May 20, 2011

Perseverance part 1

By Paul Barker

What is perseverance?

“Perseverance is steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose.” (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition)

Some of the synonyms for perseverance are endurance, persistence, tenacity, constancy, steadfastness, resolution, single-mindedness, and commitment.

“Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)

“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” (Newt Gingrich)

John Wesley had a patient mother. Her husband once told her, “I marvel at your patience! You have told that child the same thing twenty times!” Susanna Wesley looked at the child and said, “Had I spoken the matter only nineteen times, I should have lost all my labor.”

  • Perseverance is continuing to do something in spite of difficulties, obstacles, and failure.

“Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.” (II Thessalonians 1:4)

“Perseverance is the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose by even the greatest trials and sufferings.” (Strong’s Dictionary of Greek Words)

“Perseverance is accepting a difficult situation from the Lord without giving Him a deadline to remove it.” (Bill Gothard, Institute in Basic Life Principles)

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and repeatedly in my life. And that is why I succeed.” (Michael Jordan, Quoted in, Failing Your Way to Success,

In 1968, the country of Tanzania selected John Stephen Akhwari to represent it in the Mexico City Olympics. During the marathon, Akhwari fell and severely injured his knee and ankle. By 7:00 p.m., a runner from Ethiopia had won the race, and all other competitors had finished. Just a few thousand spectators were left in the stadium when a police siren at the gate caught their attention. Limping through the gate came Akhwari, his leg wrapped in a bloody bandage. Those present began to cheer as the courageous man completed the final lap of the race. Later, a reporter asked Akhwari: “Why did you continue the race after you were so badly injured?” He replied, “My country did not send me 7,000 miles to begin a race; they sent me to finish the race.” (

More on perseverance next week…


Paul Barker is currently the Director of Leadership Development for Every Nation Ministries. He leads the team that produces the ENLI curriculum for North America and that trains vocational ministers to do university and high school ministry.


  1. Hi Ps Paul,

    This is very encouraging and thanks so much! :)

    Richard & Rita

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