ENDEAVOR TO PERSEVERE Andy Hollifield 2-6-19
It may seem a little strange to use a movie quote from “The Outlaw Josey Wales” as a source for a post. There are a couple of things to consider is why I am writing about it. One is I just love the quote and two is that if you look at definitions of those two words, they combine and make a great principle to live by. The interesting thing about the quote is that I can’t find out for sure who first said it. I have read that it was everyone from poet George Wooton to Abraham Lincoln to Chief Joseph of the Nes Perse Indians. It doesn’t really matter who said it because it is the wisdom behind it that makes a difference.
I looked at the word “endeavor” to find the definition. There were four meanings and three of them were verbs. The reason I mention that is because a verb is an action word. Only one meaning, “a strenuous effort or attempt,” is a noun and one meaning of a noun is “a thing.” The other definitions are what I want to look at though. “To exert oneself to do or effect something; make an effort; or strive.” The second is “to attempt or try.” The third is “to attempt to achieve or gain.” These definitions from Dictionary.com may not seem to mean that much but when you combine it with persevere, it takes on a whole new light.
Persevere has three meanings. The first is “to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.” The next one is “to persist in speech, interrogation, argument, etc..; insist.” The last one is “to bolster, sustain, or uphold.”
When you put those together and look back at “endeavor,” what you come up with simply put is to pursue your purpose without any quit, for any reason, no matter how hard it is, and no matter how long it takes, and never give up or back down. Although neither of these words are in the bible, the word “purpose” is. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” In Acts 11:23, Barnabas advised the Christians in Antioch that they should cleave unto the Lord with purpose of heart. Romans 8:28 is worth mentioning. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” 2 Timothy 1:9 tells us that we are called with a holy calling to work for the Lord according to his purpose and not our own. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” We can rest assured that God is working his purpose in our hearts and lives as long as we are obedient to him. I didn’t find anywhere in those verses where we are to slack up any. It is impossible to slack up and endeavor to persevere. We are to persevere no matter what comes, just like I mentioned at the start of the paragraph. In short, endeavor means to continue and persevere means no matter what.
We are living in a discouraging time. You could say that “endeavor” means to go after something and do it and persevere means to give hard effort and never give up. If we could only catch on to that in our lives, what a closer walk we would have with the Savior and a contentment that is beyond understanding. It wouldn’t give us just contentment. If we lived like that it would bring us great victory in spite of a world that is all too eager to laugh, ridicule, scorn, and to put it plainly, trash us for being a Christian and pass judgment on us while telling us not to judge. My pastor used to say, “Keep on keeping on.” That doesn’t leave any place to stop does it. Do you want a victorious life and a closer walk with God? If you do, when it comes to his purpose for you, “endeavor to pursue.” Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!