What is Persistence?

Persistence is a firm or obstinance in continuing on a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. The Bible talks a lot about persistence, especially about being persistent with God. One of the more well-known instances even has “persistence” as a heading in many Bible versions.

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: ‘In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?’” (Luke 18:1-8)

Another well-known verse about persistence is Luke 11:5-10. There’s also Paul’s final instructions in 1 Thessalonians 5 that include “pray continually” as a call to persistence in prayer.

Be Persistent

Persistence with God is important because it means we’re communicating (i.e., asking, pleading, requesting) through the various emotions we experience in life. It means we believe God listens when we’re happy, sad, tired, encouraged, discouraged, and frustrated. It also means that regardless of what emotion we’re experiencing, he can lead us through them to victory.

Persistence in prayer means that what we believe and ask for when our faith is up is also what we believe and ask for when it’s not. In other words, persistence shows we believe God never changes even though we do.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)