Grambling State’s Shakyla Hill pulled off a rare feat in basketball last night, achieving a “quadruple double” (meaning at least ten of four statistical categories–points, steals, rebounds, blocks, and/or assists). It was the first time a woman had done that in Division One in a quarter century and only the fourth all-time. There have only been five official quadruple doubles in NBA History. Suffice it to say, it doesn’t happen much. How does it happen? Of course, there are innate gifts like speed, size, and ability, but there surely had to be tenacious effort, too.
In keeping our resolutions, there must be tenacity. We should ask ourselves every day, “How badly do I want to achieve this goal?” The New Testament word for that is perseverance, a word found 22 times there (The Greek word ὑπομονή is found 32 times, also translated “patient” and “endurance” a few times). It means, “The capacity to hold out or bear up in the face of difficulty” (BDAG, 1039). Sometimes, it seems effortless to conquer a matter. Other times, it can feel almost impossible. Factoring in God (as we mentioned in part two), we can have confidence that He can strengthen us to hold out and bear up whatever the challenge. Scripture tells us the outcome of perseverance:
- Bearing fruit (Luke 8:15).
- Eternal life (Rom. 2:7).
- Proven character (Rom. 5:3-4).
- Successful waiting (Rom. 8:25).
- Hope (Rom. 15:4).
- Joyously giving thanks (Col. 1:11).
- Being a man or woman of God (1 Tim. 6:1).
- Receiving what is promised (Heb. 10:36).
- Running the Christian race (Heb. 12:1).
- Being perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (Jas. 1:3-4).
- Seeing the good outcomes of the Lord (Jas. 5:11).
- Useful and fruitful (cf. 2 Pet. 1:6-8).
- Not growing weary (Rev. 2:3).
- Greater deeds (Rev. 2:19).
- A blessing in death (Rev. 14:12-13).
Now, apply this to your resolutions for 2018. There may be missteps along the way, a temporary loss of self-discipline, a sin or mistake, or a poor judgment. No matter! Resolve to hold out and bear up, no matter how hard the task. You will be glad you did, and you will find it rewarding.