This past Sunday, we heard the story of the Syrophoenician woman in Tyre who bows at Jesus feet to ask for healing for her daughter. And although Jesus insults her at first, she is persistent and Jesus does for her as she asks.
Persistence is a good quality to have in our relationship with God. It often pretty good to be persistent in other parts of our life, too. But with God, it makes a very big difference. When things get tough in our life, when our reasons for hope dwindle, persistence can help us to get through.
This isn’t supposed to be like a classic sermon, with three points and a poem, but I do have three ways that persistence helps us grow in our faith and help to to become the people God calls us to be and to follow God’s desire for our life.
The first is to be persistent in prayer. Prayer is an important way that we open ourselves up to God, both in the concerns we hold up to God, and also in opening up our hearts to hear the message hat God has for us. We pray in public, together with others, in worship. We pray in private, at home, on the train, or at our desk. Being persistent in prayer means being consistent in praying, when times are good and when times are hard.
The second is to be persistent in learning. Learning, studying, and examining our faith, the Bible, and the world around us is also important to understanding God’s desire for us. If we want to discern God’s desire for us then we need to always be looking and questioning. Learning is like a muscle, it is something that should alway be using and strengthening. Of course, you will not be surprised to hear me say that I think the Bible is a darn good place to learn. Studying the scripture and the teachings of Jesus, should always be an important part of our learning.
The last is to be persistent in action. Prayer and learning are made complete we act on what we have discerned. When we are guided by prayer and the insight of examination, we can act with confidence. This is especially important as we look to navigate our way through the brokenness of our culture and society. Our actions help us express our faith in God and demonstrate our desire to shape our world according to God’s desire and will.