Do You Have Sufficient Determination?
THOUSANDS of Christians were flocking from all over England to attend the “Everlasting Good News” Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses in London. This promised to be a grand spiritual feast that would help Christians mold their lives in harmony with God’s Word, and many were determined to be there. But a problem faced eighty-year-old Mrs. Halsey when she missed the bus that had been arranged to carry her congregation from Great Yarmouth 140 miles to the assembly. What would she do? With firm determination she set out to cycle those 140 miles, and actually covered eighty miles before a bus from another congregation stopped and gave her a ride! With this type of determination marvelous things can be accomplished.
How much determination do you have? When you have assignments to accomplish, goals to reach or responsibilities to discharge, do you persist despite obstacles and against any opposition that may arise? In this life few worthwhile endeavors come easily. You need to have the determination to carry on to the finish if you are to realize success.
It may be that you are seeking employment, or are endeavoring to master a new job. Oftentimes this involves long hours of relentless search, or much patience and intensive study. It is easy to become discouraged and give up; yet if you determinedly persist, with faith in God’s promises to provide his servants the means for acquiring daily necessities, in time you will be rewarded with success. (Ps. 37:25; Matt. 6:11, 25-33) Jesus Christ himself emphasized the need for such persistence when he said in his Sermon on the Mount: “Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you.”—Matt. 7:7.
While it often takes real determination to provide a household with material sustenance, it also requires determination on the part of parents to give children in that household the disciplining and training they need. The Bible encourages parents to “train up a boy according to the way for him,” and then “even when he grows old he will not turn aside from it.” (Prov. 22:6) As parents, have you shown the necessary persistence required to form good habits in your children? Do you regularly read to them from the Bible, inculcating its righteous principles in their minds?
Perhaps you may object that your children simply are too full of energy to sit and listen, that they are interested only in playing and watching television. But could it be that the real problem is your own lack of determination to fulfill your obligation to discipline them? You need persistence. Consider, for example, how one mother whose husband did not appreciate the value of Bible knowledge was able to discipline her three boys.
“When it was stressed that it was the parents’ responsibility to see that children had daily Bible instruction, I decided to set aside time for daily Bible reading,” she said. “This raised a howl of protest from my boys, ages seven, five and three, as it always seemed to come at their most enjoyable time. After the account of creation they lost interest, and the howls grew louder as I turned off the television every night and announced it was time for Bible reading. Many times I sat with the Bible in one hand and the rod of correction in the other. However, day by day the antagonism eased, and now, three years later, they not only are willing listeners but ask to have the Bible read and take part in reading and even want me to quiz them on what we have read.
“The effects of this habit have truly been far-reaching. Not only are they getting a good knowledge of what is in the Bible, but our family relationships have greatly improved and the need for discipline has lessened. And it has also helped to bring them to the top of their classes at school, the result of the practice of reading aloud and sounding out difficult words.” There is no question about it, determination pays off!
Firm determination is especially the need of those who would be pleasing to God by walking in the footsteps of his dear Son, Jesus Christ. It is not easy to be a Christian and to obey Christ’s command to “preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.’” (Matt. 10:7) Especially is this true when one is crippled by muscular dystrophy and is confined to a wheelchair. But even with this handicap Lottie Rose of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been able to engage in full-time ministerial service.
She used to make it a habit to speak to every person that came to her home, and in this way was able to place a great deal of Bible literature with visitors. But she was determined to do more. She writes as to how this was possible: “I would arrange to have someone take me to the front door of my house in my wheelchair and whenever anyone passed by I would speak to them. With what result? Well, during one month I placed 120 magazines. Sometimes I spent as many as seven hours a day preaching this way. In all, during one month, I was able to put in 128 preaching hours, had more than forty return visits with persons showing interest and had the wonderful opportunity of feeding three sheeplike persons in regular Bible studies.”
Truly, many marvelous works to God’s praise can be accomplished if one has sufficient determination to persist despite obstacles and opposition. It requires faith in God and his promises, as Jesus showed when he said: “That expression, ‘If you can’! Why, all things can be to one if he has faith.” So exercise faith in God. Trust in him for support. Set your mind on his Word and make a firm mental resolve that you will be obedient to his will regardless of the difficulties or troubles that may come. Your very life depends upon whether you have sufficient determination to remain faithful to such a resolve.—Mark 9:23.