We often hear about the vital factors of determination, heart and persistence that lead to success in our ventures. Dwight Eisenhower put it this way: “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
People lose heart most easily when they have no strong sense of cause or purpose in their lives. When a goal is not clear and when the purpose of our lives seems hidden, we can lose focus. If we are defending our homes, reaching out to save a life or running for shelter from a storm, we have loads of energy as adrenaline courses through our veins. In a circumstance when action seems clear, and obstacles are not present, most people do well. But when trouble looms on the horizon, even capable people may stumble. Inner determination makes a lot of difference.
The scriptures give the account of Jacob, who was involved in a wrestling match he could not win. He wrestled with God and prevailed, not because he was stronger or more capable, but because the amount of fight in him pleased God. Jacob was a man God could use (Genesis 32:25-28 Genesis 32:25-28 25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaks. And he said, I will not let you go, except you bless me.
27 And he said to him, What is your name? And he said, Jacob.
28 And he said, Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince have you power with God and with men, and have prevailed.
American King James Version×). Jacob did not quit even when his hip was dislocated. Clearly, God limited what He did to Jacob, but it pleased God that this human had such a strong spirit in him that it would take a great deal before he would quit.
This quality of grit and determination will serve us well as we go through life.