How to Advance Forward with Determination and Perseverance

Determined runner, determination, power up, man running, ready, set, go, promise keepers,

If you want to know what determination and perseverance looks like, consider elite athletes like the Olympians who train for four years for that possible moment of glory.


A renowned psychologist, Dr. Shane Murphy said of the preparation required - athletes need to learn to deal with pressure, anxiety, fear of failure, and worrying about injury. All of these areas concern the mind.


Four years of perfecting skills, and on the day, it’s the state of the mind that determines success or failure. Dr Murphy calls it “being in the zone”. He said, to be “in the zone” is to block out the fear of failure and worrying about the result.


At the Munich Olympics in 1972, Olga Korbut, a gymnast from USSR, was only 17 years old when she won her first Olympic gold medals. But she didn’t get there without a fight. She started gymnastics at the age of six, but six-months into the training, her coaches kicked her out saying she was not very promising.


But she didn’t give up and others saw her potential. With the right coach, determination and perseverance, at 15 years of age, she won the USSR champion title in the vault. Two years later at Munich, she performed a move once thought impossible. To this day in her honour, its known as the ‘Korbut Flip’.


What say of us – running this race to win the ultimate prize already set before us? We ought to run like winners.


Take Mary Peters for example, a pentathlon gold medallist at Munich 1972 Olympics. At the age of 33, she also set the world record. However, in the previous Olympics, she finished fourth in 1964, and nineth in 1968. She said the difference was in 1972, “she believed she was going to win”.


To run like a winner is to imitate or copy someone else’s mindset and patterns. Our Bible says we were “made in the image of God, according to His likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Furthermore, Romans tells us that we are “joint-heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17). Therefore, we don’t have to copy someone else’s way of life, but rather rise up, run the race and look to Jesus – through “His strength, [you] can do all things” (Philippians 4:13).


The Apostle Paul tells us to be transformed. How? By the renewing of our minds. Why? So “that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).


Finally, how about this for determination and perseverance – Jesus surrendered Himself to the Father’s plan, taking upon Himself all the sins of the world, so we can be made new again, like the winners the Father originally intended for us to be.


Today, make a choice to run as a winner. Like Mary Peters, before she even arrived at Munich to compete, she already thought of herself as a winner.


In His richest blessings,

Frank Po Ching