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Wednesday, November 21 , 2018, 12:54 am | Fair 50º


Jim Langley: Choosing Perseverance Pays Rewards

Perseverance is a topic worth a good discussion. Throughout our lives we have a choice between persevering and taking a diversion.

I’ve always enjoyed taking the road less traveled. That road is usually more challenging, but it’s also more rewarding once you’ve reached your goal.

Let me tell you about my friend, Chris Hedges. I met Hedges a few months ago while he was making his Left Coast swing on his first book tour.

Hedges’ book, Average Joe’s Story: Quest for Confidence, is inspirational but the author inspired me even more than his literary work. You see, Hedges has been battling cancer since he graduated from the University of Miami.

Upon finishing his 20,000-mile book tour, he celebrated by spending 10 days in a Florida hospital. He’s already working on his second book and it won’t surprise me if someone tags him with the appropriate moniker “Mr. Perseverance” one of these days. Perhaps I did just that!

I never had the pleasure of meeting Charles “Tremendous” Jones, yet the stories of this successful insurance agent turned motivational speaker are well-documented. In all, Jones wrote nine motivational books and continued to speak into his 80s. He went to be with his Lord and Savior in 2008.

One of his best known quotes about the insurance business was, “No one has endurance like the man who sells insurance.” Not all my colleagues in the insurance profession have the endurance to persevere, but I’ve witnessed some exceptional people in my 30-plus years in the business.

Actually, I take it back. They were not exceptional — they were normal people like you and me — only they took on the task to never give up and continuously strive to reach one more person before calling it a night.

There’s one person who truly stands out as the epitome of perseverance. His name is Christ Jesus! He is both Savior and Lord to many, and all will one day bow down before Him. In Isaiah 50:7, this Messianic prophecy profoundly states, “Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.” (New International Version)

When I consider all the trials Jesus went through as the God man, I see the trials I face in life as inconsequential. He’s more than the perfect example. He’s the One who gives them power to persevere as the Holy Spirit encourages them daily as they muddle through life on this corrupted earth.

It’s not easy, but in my humble opinion life would be extremely difficult without His presence in our lives.

Some of you reading this are attempting to get through life on your own and that’s certainly your prerogative. However as a satisfied customer, let me simply say that there’s great strength available in that most important relationship found in Jesus.

I highly recommend you take that step of faith if you’ve been putting it off. He awaits your simple decision to follow Him this day forward!

Passages to Ponder

» Romans 14:8

» Colossians 3:23

» James 1:2&3

» John 1:12

» Ecclesiastes 4:12

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara ​(Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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