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Faith Is Determination and Perseverance

For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise - Hebrews 10:36

The fourth critical element for conquering barriers on our journey to our vision is determination and perseverance or grit. Taking risk is a bold action. And it’s the first step in the journey but it is not one time thing, it’s usually a series of repeating, reoccurring and dynamic actions, or one risk follows another. We must have a spirit of determination to persist and perseverance so we can finish all the required tasks and break through all the barriers one by one until we arrive at the destination.

Reference Faith is to Hold on the Vision

I love to boast of the glory of perseverance and I treasure the trait of determination and perseverance because it’s usually the perseverance that leads to our dreamed destination and it’s the persistence that makes people success, they are the keys for achieving goals. A quote says well “If at first you don’t succeed, try again” and we also heard falling down seven times and standing up eight. Few people achieve anything great without first overcoming some obstacles. That’s the power of unyielding spirit no matter what obstacles in the way, figure out a solution to overcome them and progress to the other side and move on forward to the dreamed land.

Reference Six Steps to Build Your Self-Confidence

What if Thomas Edison gave up on his idea for a light bulb after it failed 2,000 times? We all know Disney World, a place many kids dream to go. Do you know how Walt Disney built the empire?

As a young man, Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star Newspaper because his boss thought he lacked creativity. In 1921, he went on to form an animation company called Laugh-O-Gram Films. Using his natural salesmanship abilities, Disney was able to raise $15,000 for the company ($181,000 in 2008 dollars). However, he made a deal with a New York distributor, and when the distributor went out of business, Disney was forced to shut Laugh-O-Gram down. He could barely pay his rent and even resorted to eating dog food for keeping his breath.

Broke but not defeated, Disney spent his last few dollars to buy a train ticket and headed for Hollywood. Once he was there, what amazed him more was that the big trouble threw at him mercilessly and unexpected before his other troubles were over. In 1926, Disney invented a cartoon character named Oswald the Rabbit. When he attempted to negotiate a better deal with Universal Studios, the cartoon’s distributor, Disney discovered that Universal had secretly patented the Oswald character. Universal even hired Disney’s artists away from him, and continued the cartoon without Disney’s input and without paying him. That wasn’t enough. Disney also struggled to release some of his now-classic films. He was told Mickey Mouse would fail because the mouse would terrify women and Distributors rejected The Three Little Pigs, saying it needed more characters. Pinocchio was shut down during production and Disney had to rewrite the entire storyline. Other films, like Pollyanna and Fantasia, were misunderstood by audiences at the time of their release, only became favorites later on.

Disney showed the greatest perseverance when he tried to make the book, Mary Poppins into a film. In 1944, Disney decided to adapt the Pamela Travers’s novel into a screenplay. However, Travers had absolutely no interest in selling Mary Poppins to Hollywood. To win her over, Disney visited Travers at her England home repeatedly for the next sixteen years. After the sixteen years’ persuasion, Travers was overcome by Disney’s vision and passion for the film, and finally gave him permission to bring Mary Poppins to the big screen. The result is a timeless classic.

Reference The Power of Confidence

In a twist of fate, Disney Company went on to purchase ABC in 1996. At the time, ABC was the owner of the Kansas City Star, it means the newspaper that once fired Disney had become part of the empire he created. And all thanks to his creativity and a lot of determination and perseverance.

Toastmasters may know LaShunda Rundles, the 2008 World Champion of public speaking. She demonstrated her unbelievable perseverance in combating chronic disease. She endured about 20 surgeries with eight toes amputated plus countless stays in hospitals. However she did not quit. Even before the night delivering her championship speech, she was too sick to sleep all night, but her perseverance won her the glory of champion.

Jesus was determinate to die for us though he knew the road he would walk mercilessly torturous. From that time on, Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!" Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns." (Matthew 16:21-23 states)

In order to make His mission come true, Jesus decided to take a road no one traveled and no one can travel without His support. And He showed greatest perseverance in the process. No matter how people beat him and blame him, he kept silence. Even at the end, he was on cross and he was still praying for those who were torturing him, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34) Jesus made his vision come true so all believe in Him gain the eternal life through him.

Reference Faith Is to Take Risk and Be Discernment

Interesting enough, even the truth of that perseverance leads to the final success can be mathematically showed in probability. An article, The Miracle of Persistence, from Chinese Reader’s Digest 2011, tells a true story in a college’s class.

One day, a social science professor gave student a math problem: if an event has only 1% odds to succeed, what’s the probability that the event succeeds at least one time if you try it 100 times? The professor provides four answers to students to choose: 10%, 23%, 38% and 63%.

The students in class have a heated discussion for several minutes, most of them choose the answer 10%, some students choose 23%, several choose 30%, and very few choose 63%. The professor looked at the answers and silenced for a while, he did not give any comments then he announced his right answer in smile with an illustration. If the success rate is 1% for one experiment, that means the failure rate is 99%, if you repeat the experiment for 100 times and each of them has 99% failure, the rate for every experiment to fail in 100 times is 0.99100, that is about 37% and that also leaves us 1 – 37% = 63% probability to succeed at least one time.

The students are amazed by the correct answer. It’s hard to believe that an event has only 1% odds to succeed, but if you keep doing 100 times, the chance to succeed raises to 63%! Unbelievable but true!

Before any success, there are always frustrations and countless failures. If you choose to give up, you give up the opportunity of success. The distance to success becomes shorter and shorter as you try more and fail more. Any successful person in human history has no more luck than others but has only one difference than ordinary people, they have the spirit of determination, persistence, perseverance and endurance. It’s the four factors that truly separate people who have dreams from those who achieve their dreams. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise (Hebrew 10:36)

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