I recently heard results of a study that determined kids expect to have to ask parents something nine times before they get the results they want. From a parent’s perspective, it might feel like pestering. The parent finally gives in because he or she just can’t take it any longer. Or, perhaps the parent is so distracted and disengaged that it actually takes that long to fully process the request.
From the kid’s perspective, it might be manipulative: “If I just keep asking long enough, eventually my mom or dad will give in.” We don’t want to raise pesky kids. Yet there’s another perspective–that repeatedly asking is a form of perseverance. It shows determination and commitment, which can be positive.
God wants us to develop perseverance in our faith. He wants us to repeatedly go to Him, rely on Him, and trust Him. Yet He filters everything through His will. You can ask Him gazillion times for something that you never receive. You can ask once and immediately receive. So how can you know the difference between pestering and persevering?
What’s your motivation?
What’s your ongoing relationship with God?
If you’re trying to get what you want more than seek what God wants, it’s pestering.
If you’re wrestling with the difference between your will and His, it’s persevering.
Perseverance is about wanting God more than you want anything or anyone else in your life. You persevere through your needs and requests toward God. Pestering keeps you stuck. Persevering, even when it feels like you’re stuck, keeps you moving.
Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)