So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
Romans 10:17 (New Living Translation)
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17 (New International Version)
The point is: Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ’s Word is preached, there’s nothing to listen to.
Romans 10:17 (The Message)
Direct your children onto the right path,
and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Proverbs 22:6 (New Living Translation)
Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6 (New International Version)
Point your kids in the right direction—
when they’re old they won’t be lost.
Proverbs 22:6 (The Message)
Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders-
he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out.
Psalm 55:22 (The Message)
Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall.
Psalm 55:22 (New International Version)
Give your burdens to the Lord,
and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
Psalm 55:22 (New Living Translation)
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (New Living Translation)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (New International Version)
True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (The Message)
No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.
1 Corinthians 2:9 (New Living Translation)
No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him
1 Corinthians 2:9 (New International Version)
No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love him.
1 Corinthians 2:9 (The Message)
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12 NLT
It’s a costly investment, no question about it. But the dividends are so much greater than the original outlay that you’ll almost forget the price. And if the final benefits are really significant, you’ll wonder why you ever hesitated to begin with.
A primary reason we are tempted to give up is other people . . . you know, the less than 20 percent whose major role it is in life to encourage others to toss in the towel. For whateverreason. Those white-flag specialists never run out of excuses you and I ought to use for quitting. The world’s full of “why-sweat-it” experts.
I’m sure Anne Mansfield Sullivan had a host of folks telling her that the blind, 7-year-old brat wasn’t worth it. But Anne persisted—in spite of temper tantrums, physical abuse, mealtime madness, and even thankless parents. In her heart she knew it was worth all the pain. Was it ever! Within two years her pupil, Helen Keller, was able to read and write in braille. She ultimately graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College (where Miss Sullivan had “spelled” each lecture into her hand), and Helen Keller devoted the rest of her life to aiding the deaf and the blind.
Want another for instance? Well, this particular man was told that if he hadn’t written a book by age thirty-five, chances were good he never would. He was almost forty, I should add. There were others who reminded him that for every book published, ninety-five became dust-collecting manuscripts. But he persisted. Even though he was warned that stories like he wanted to write weren’t popular. Nor were they considered worthy of top prizes in the literary field (his work later won the Pulitzer). Hollywood hotshots also told him such a book certainly held no dramatic possibilities. But James Michener hung tough. He refused to wash the desire out of his hair as he persisted. And he presented to the public Tales of the South Pacific. Oh, by the way, the Broadway critics had warned, “It’ll never make a musical.”
How many military battles would never have been won without persistence? How many men and women would never have graduated from school . . . or changed careers in midstream . . . or stayed together in marriage . . . or reared a mentally disabled child? Think of the criminal cases that would never have been solved without the relentless persistence of detectives. How about the great music that would never have been finished, the grand pieces of art that would never have graced museums, cathedrals, and monuments the world over? Back behind the impeccable beauty of each work is a dream that wouldn’t die mixed with the dogged determination of a genius of whom this indifferent world is not worthy.
Think also of the speeches, the sermons, the books that have shaped thinking, infused new hope, prompted fresh faith, and aroused the will to win. For long and lonely hours away from the applause—even the awareness—of the public, the one preparing that verbal missile persisted all alone with such mundane materials as dictionary, thesaurus, historical volumes, biographical data, and a desk full of other research works. The same could be said of those who labor to find cures for diseases. And how about those who experiment with inventions?
I once heard about a couple of men who were working alongside the inventor Thomas Edison. Weary to the point of exasperation, one man sighed, “What a waste! We have tried no less than seven hundred experiments and nothing has worked. We are not a bit better off than when we started.”
With an optimistic twinkle in his eye, Edison quipped, “Oh, yes, we are! We now know seven hundred things that won’t work. We’re closer than we’ve ever been before.” With that, he rolled up his sleeves and plunged back in.
If necessity is the mother of invention, persistence is certainly the father.
God honors it. Maybe because He models it so well. His love for His people, the Jews, persists to this very day, even though they have disobeyed Him more often than they have loved Him in return. And just think of His patient persistence in continually reaching out to the lost, “not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). And how about His persistence with us? You and I can recall one time after another when He could have (and should have!) wiped us out of the human race, but He didn’t. Why? The answer is in Philippians 1:6:
He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (NIV)
The One who began will continue right up to the end. Being the original finisher, He will persist. I’m comforted to know He won’t be talked out of a plan that has to do with developing me. I need help! Don’t you?
by Charles R. Swindoll
For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
2 Corinthians 4:17 (New Living Translation)
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
2 Corinthians 4:17 (New International Version)
These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us.
2 Corinthians 4:17 (The Message)