Persistence – Don’t Quit Before You Win the Prize

I have not failed 1000 times.  I have discovered 1000 ways not to make a light bulb. Thomas Edison

Persistence – Don’t Quit Before You Win the Prize

In life, the easy way out will most often present itself right before your greatest breakthrough.

One of my personal favorite stories in the Bible occurs in Genesis 32:24-28. This passage gives the account of a pivotal moment in the life of a man named Jacob. In today’s post, I want to use this story to show you why you should never quit before you win the prize.

In the passage, Jacob’s past, present, and future are all about to collide in one epic event. As he goes to bed that night, he is met by a man who begins to wrestle with him. This man, who was either an angel or perhaps a manifestation of God, wrestled with him all night long. (kinda weird, but true)

As the morning is about to break, his opponent says to him, “Let me go.” At this point, it sounds like Jacob is winning. His adversary is tapping out. He’s crying ‘uncle’. He’s throwing in the towel. The easiest thing for Jacob to do at this moment would be simply to let the guy go.

Has that ever happened to you? We enter into a potentially rewarding endeavor, but then we find out that there is a long struggle involved. We fight our hardest for a while, but then we just start looking for the easiest way to get out of the struggle.

All of life’s most significant rewards will only present themselves to those few courageous and persistent individuals who refuse to quit.

Think about all the areas you’ve seen this happen. How many marriages have you seen end in divorce after years of fighting to make it work. It happens in education. It happens in careers. It definitely happens with all of those new years resolutions. The easy way out often presents itself right before the moment of greatest reward.

In our story however, Jacob didn’t let this man who was a representation of his destiny go. His responds, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Jacob understood that there is often a reward that will only present itself to those who refuse to quit.

Although Jacob’s moment was uniquely divine, I think we can apply his experience to every worthwhile endeavor that we feel the urging to quit. I once read a study by the University of Chicago about unhappy marriages. One interesting result of the poll came out of those couples surveyed who claimed to be the most unhappy in their marriages but still made the commitment to stay married. Five years later 8 out of 10 of those ‘very unhappily married’ couples claimed that they were now ‘happily married’.

Take the option of quitting off of the table. Trash it entirely, and start fighting for a win.

So often in life we are presented with opportunities to just walk away. I think that if Jacob were standing here today, he’d be the first to say, “Don’t quit before you win the prize!” Take the option of quitting off of the table and start fighting for a win.

In case you’re wondering what happened to Jacob. At the end of this epic battle, the angel says to him, “He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.”

Yeah, that’s the same Israel who eventually had 12 kids, that became the 12 tribes of Israel, who eventually became the nation of Israel. You will always have an opportunity to quit right before you’re most life-changing victories. Don’t!

The battles you persist and fight through redefine who you are. They mold and shape your life within a divine destiny of greatness. Never quit!

About the Author

Jeremy BinnsWhen I'm not trying to save the world from the coming zombie invasion, I love my wife, hug my daughters, write, photograph, listen, observe, explore, and worship.View all posts by Jeremy Binns →

  • Cyndi

    Thank you for the inspiration Jeremy! I won’t quit!

    • Jeremy Binns

      You better not! :)

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

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