Wisdom From A Fortune Cookie

fortune.Cookie

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend of mine at P. F. Chang’s on the Plaza.  The food was good.  The Server was friendly. The conversation was enjoyable.  The fellowship was encouraging.  And at the end of the meal when I opened my Chinese fortune cookie….it was “spot on”! 

As I cracked open the crisp cookie and unfolded the tiny piece of paper, “my fortune” read” “Endurance and persistence will be rewarded.”  Yes!

Well, actually I didn’t need a Chinese fortune cookie to tell me that!  And neither do you!  Every worthwhile achievement in life demands the will to endure and the spirit of persistence.

It’s true in the world of sports.  Whoever wins the Super Bowl this year will have endured some setback and persisted through problems, challenges and heart-breaking losses.  Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi often spoke to the importance of persistence.  “Football is a great deal like life,” Lombardi said, “In that it teaches that work, sacrifice, perseverance, competitive drive, selflessness and respect for authority is the price that each and every one of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”

The business world is filled with great examples of persistence, perseverance, and endurance.  Multi-Billionaire, Rich DeVos, owner of the Orlando Magic and co-founder of the Amway Corporation, wrote in his book, HOPE FROM MY HEART: “Persistence is the single most important ingredient for success in life.  It involves determination and the will to persevere no matter what the obstacle…persistence moves you forward…persistence keeps you connected to life and helps you maintain momentum….persistence has a purpose and flows from a decision toward a goal.”

DeVos concluded, “If I could pass on one character trait to young people in the world-–one single quality that would help them achieve success in life-–it would be persistence.  It’s more important than intellect, athletic ability, good looks, or personal magnetism. Persistence comes from a deep place in the soul.  It is a God-given compensation for what we lack in other areas of life.  Never underestimate its power.”

If persistence is the key to success in sports, business and life, then it must be true spiritually.  And it is.  The Bible often speaks of the necessity of endurance and power and purpose of persistence.

The Hebrew writer compared the Christian life to running a race when he wrote, “…Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us….lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls…..Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees.” (12:1,3,12).  He’s saying “Stay in the race.’  “Run hard.”  “Don’t give in to fatigue.”  “And don’t become disheartened.”   “Be strong.”  “And keep on running!”

A runner must persevere through aches. Pains. Strains. A dedicated runner persists in hot weather. Cold weather. Rainy weather. When he feels good. Or bad. Or just blah! He runs! He runs with a goal in view. With purpose. Passion. Perseverance.

The Christian life is a spiritual marathon. Not a sprint. It requires a lifetime of dedication. Devotion. And doggedness. It’s not always easy. Convenient. Or popular. But the true disciple of Jesus is not deterred. Dismayed. Or distracted by the Devil’s devices. He just keeps on keeping on!

The thread of spiritual perseverance, persistence, and endurance runs throughout the teaching of the Bible.

Jesus commanded his followers to be persistent  in prayer (Lk. 18:1)

Luke says The Jerusalem Christians, “continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine…” (Ax 2:42).

Paul exhorted Timothy to persist in preaching the gospel (1Tim 4:16). James urges Christians to endure trials because they produce in us the quality of perseverance that helps us mature in our faith (Jas 1:3-5).

The Chinese fortune cookie was right! “Endurance and persistence will be rewarded.  Not just materially.  But spiritually.  And what is the result?  The reward?

Jesus promised, “The one who endures to the end shall be saved…Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Matt 24:13; Rev. 2:10)

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

7 Comments

Filed under Persistence

7 responses to “Wisdom From A Fortune Cookie

  1. Simple and Great reminders.

  2. Norma Weliever

    great blog pm

  3. Aleta

    I especially needed this today. Thank you, Ken!

  4. Larry Hafley

    I trust that Rich is still alive.  He and Jay were great examples of everything I am not. 

  5. Craig Thomas

    Ken,

    I have a quote for you that is relevant to this subject. It goes like this: “”Perseverance is that quality of character that sees a thing through
    in spite of adversities and even though results are not immediately
    visible.” I would like to say I originated those words of wisdom, but they come from my good friend John Witt.

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