Perseverance pays off

Published 7:03 pm Friday, April 22, 2016

After a friend purchased a cell phone, I was helping him get it activated and ready for use. It was one of those prepaid plans in which no contract with a service provider is required—hence, no need to stand in a lengthy line at a telephone store and answer a bunch of questions in order to receive phone service. By following the simple instructions that came with the phone, we could quickly and efficiently handle it ourselves!

To get started I just needed to call the toll free number, but the instructions failed to warn me that when I did I was not likely to get someone who was fluent in south Georgia English. Sure enough, the lady who took my call was exceedingly courteous, but definitely not from our part of the country.

Thankfully she was patient and willing to bear with me, and all went well until we reached the critical phase where she recited a series of numbers that had to be entered into the new phone. As fate would have it, the signal cracked just as she called out the first number, and with the first number wrong, all the rest of them were useless. After she kindly, but unsuccessfully, tried to get me back on track, I knew I was probably in for a challenge when she offered to put her supervisor on the line.

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After being on hold for a bit, I thought it best to end the call and try another route.

When I returned to the office, somebody else started the activation process over, but instead of doing it over the telephone, he used the computer method that time, which, thankfully, went much better. Finally, perseverance paid off and he was able to get the phone activated and all ended well.

In my first attempt to activate the phone, a breakdown of communication hindered success; because one number was unclear and consequently entered incorrectly, the whole process became ineffective. That resulted in a crisis, a time of decision: I had to decide to either give up on the entire process or go back and try again. I made the better choice of the two and was ultimately able to achieve my goal.

Life is filled with situations in which details that are missed, misunderstood or misapplied result in what seems to be absolute failure. In those times, quitting too often presents itself as the easy route and the more attractive solution, but perseverance and the willingness to try again, even if it means starting from scratch, most always yields a fulfilling and beneficial solution in the long run.

Living a life of faith in Christ does not exempt us from trials, challenges and circumstances that, from our human perspective, might appear to move toward hopeless failures.

Yet as we hold firmly to our faith and refuse to give up, our perseverance will ultimately pay off. The assurance found in James 1:2-4 is of great value to all Christians under many circumstances: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (New International Version).

Most of us have probably faced obstacles along life’s way that made us feel like giving up. That might even describe what you are experiencing right now. I urge you not to give up, but instead, keep up the faith and allow God to work His perfect plan out in your life. Yes, perseverance pays!