If at First You Don’t Succeed…

We consider blessed those who have persevered.
James 5:11

Whether we ultimately fail or succeed sometimes depends on our own tenacity. We’ve all heard stories about people who beat the odds and achieved where others tried and failed. But we seldom stop to think about the many times those same people fell flat on their faces before realizing their goals.

Thomas Edison, for instance, reportedly built and tested more than one thousand lightbulbs before finally getting one to work. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school varsity basketball team. Louis L’Amour received several hundred rejection slips before his first short story was published. After Elvis Presley’s first performance at the Grand Ole Opry, the manager advised the young singer to go back to truck driving.

Satan wants us to give up after a defeat. That’s why the author of Hebrews urged Jewish Christians to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1). That’s a valuable lesson for your children…and a good one for mom and dad to remember, too.

Before you say good night…

  • What have you accomplished that required great perseverance?
  • How can you encourage persistence in your children?
  • Do you believe that success can follow repeated failure?

Lord Jesus, it’s difficult for us to get beyond our defeats and failures. Help us to get back on the right path and to keep putting one foot in front of another. We’re so thankful that even when this business of parenting seems over our heads, You still walk right beside us. Amen.

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.