If I may, I would like to share with you the brief outline I shared with my class. It highlights three areas in which we should persevere.
1. Persevere through fear.
Fear is not necessarily a bad thing. Moses was afraid. Joshua was afraid. Gideon was afraid. Paul was afraid. The key in dealing with our fear is to face it head-on. We should never run from our fear, but rather, we should allow it to drive us to our Source of strength. Only then can we persevere.
2. Persevere through failure.
Failure can teach us more about perseverance than success ever could. Remember the old saying, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again"? What a wonderful thought! Failure gives us the chance to complete a task over again, and this time, to do it better. It offers an education that cannot be gained elsewhere. Again, though, there is a trick to dealing with failure; otherwise it can discourage and overwhelm. When looking at our failures, it is imperative we don't forget to look at our successes as well.
3. Persevere through favor.
Sometimes people tend to "give up" when things are going well for them. They allow money, success or fame to distract them from their true calling in life. They're content to sit and enjoy the fruits of their labor without giving a second thought to how much more they could accomplish if they just kept going. Yes, we all need to rest now and then, but there's a big difference between a catnap and permanent slumber. Slow and steady wins the race. We'll never reach the finish line if we're distracted by the pleasant things along the way.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight of life, knowing neither victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt