I believe that we are born tenacious, with the drive to go forward at blinding speeds to become anything we want to be, and brave any adventure we can find. But then our tenacity fizzles, lessons, dulls, and almost all but winks out. Blame it on what you think sounds best: seasonal blues, lack of energy, low income, too many disappointments, being a realist, sleeplessness, work, kids… blame it on what you think sounds best, but then let me help you find it again.
Romans 4:18-25 reveals Where You Can Find Your Tenacity.
Lets start by remembering what it looks like…
1. Tenacity is rooted belief
4:18, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be” NIV
Abraham was tenacious because he believed. He believed that God can do what God says He will do. There was no logical reason for Abraham to believe (namely, that he and Sarah could possibly have a baby when they were very old). But, he believed God.
Tenacity begins with belief.
2. Tenacity is strengthened with consistency
4:19, “Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead —since he was about a hundred years old —and that Sarah’s womb was also dead” NIV
Tenacity is something that can be seen everyday. It grows as we intentionally make part of our everyday routine, thoughts, feelings, motivational self-talk… It’s there everyday because we never stop believing. Abraham’s tenacity remained all through his life, even when presented with obstacles, because he chose to be consistent with his belief.
Tenacity grows with a consistent belief.
3. Tenacity eats obstacles for breakfast
4:20, “he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,” NIV
Abraham’s tenacity remained all through his life particularly because he was presented with obstacles. It was the obstacles he faced that strengthened his tenacity. It was his obstacles that caused him to focus on God and give God all the glory. Obstacles fuel tenacity because they force the tenacious to focus on God.
Tenacity is fuelled by obstacles because they focus the mind on what truly matters most.
4. Tenacity is empowered by God
4:21, “being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” NIV
Abraham steadfastly, without ever second guessing God, pushed through every obstacle, fully convinced that God could do what God said He will do. And, God did what He said He would do.
Tenacity isn’t fluffy, positive self-talk or cockiness, it’s a recognition that God is performing and we’ve got a front row seat.
5. Tenacity’s greatest reward is eternity
Romans 4:24, “also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead” NIV
Purely based on Abraham’s unwavering belief, God rewarded him with the gift of righteousness. Abraham wasn’t righteous, but God assigned him a credit of righteousness so that Abraham could withdraw it one day when he needed it (on judgement day). Everyone who believes in Jesus for salvation is given that same credit of righteousness. The reason why Abraham is called the father of faith is because we follow his example of faith that leads to righteousness (He showed us how to do it – the only way to do it).
Tenacity boldly leads us to believe in Jesus for grace and forgiveness.
6. Tenacity’s goal is to meet God eye to eye (and not die)
Romans 4:25, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” NIV
At the end of my days I will stand before God with absolutely nothing of value because I’m ruined by my sin (I’m very far from perfect). In that moment God will withdraw the credit that He left in my account. Instead of judgement, God will use that credit of righteousness and then award me with eternity, forgiveness, and a forever friendship.
When you are determined to stare into God’s eyes as a friend based solely on your belief in Jesus then you have found your tenacity.
Find your tenacity. Tenaciously believe that what Jesus said is true. Tenaciously believe that your life isn’t about trying to earn God’s approval – you have it based on your faith in Jesus. Tenaciously live as a friend of Jesus.
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