Persistence is a key to success. I wonder how many times people told Jesus it couldn’t be done? How many people tried to discourage Him from pursuing His mission? How much of His life was spent with people who truly believed that He would succeed? In the gospel of Matthew, there is a striking account of Peter trying to protect Jesus by expressing disbelief that Jesus must suffer at the hands of the church leaders and be put to death so that He could rise on the third day to complete His mission and fully demonstrate His power.
Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, enemy! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” – Matthew 16
Even His closest friends had doubts about the direction He was taking. And yet, Jesus had a vision of what He could accomplish. Jesus saw what needed to be done to complete His mission. And Jesus was willing to work repeatedly and continuously to enlist every person He met. Jesus didn’t let anything stand between Him and achieving His goals. And He didn’t intend that this be a trait unique to Him.
“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Luke 11
Jesus doesn’t just intend for us to ask once and then move along. He encourages us to ask and keep on asking. It’s not that every door will open the first time we knock, but when we keep on knocking, opportunities will come our way.
One of the hardest aspects of working in sales is the fact that, the majority of the time, the job is to talk to someone about something that they are going to reject. Even the best salespeople hear “no” more often then they hear “yes”. It takes a certain kind of spirit to overcome that negativity, push through those doubts, and open up again time after time simply for the possibility of “yes”. This is the kind of persistence Jesus is looking for in each one of us as believers – the willingness to risk failure for the chance of success. The ability to accept defeat, learn from it, and improve our strategy and tactics for the next opportunity.
Life is a series of opportunities. You can choose to pursue them, or avoid them. Success awaits those who pursues opportunity with persistence, vision, and dedication to achieving everything God has proposed is possible. Even when life throws obstacles in your path – keep asking, keep knocking, keep seeking and God will open the door, poor out His Spirit, and take you places that you have never even dreamed of.