Determination is the steadfastness of mind that, once a task has begun, it will be completed regardless of the adversity. It is the ability of an individual to say, “If this is what it takes to reach a goal, I am willing to press onward, regardless of the odds, in spite of what anyone may say, no matter the difficulty, pain, or rejection.” Determination cries, “I can see where I am at and where I need to go; I have a purpose and a goal; nothing will stop me from attaining my aspirations!” Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines determination as the “Decision of a question in the mind; firm resolution; settled purpose.” Benjamin Disraeli once stated it this way, “Nothing can resist the human will that will stake even its existence on its stated purpose.” For a Christian, the Apostle Paul put it aptly in Philippians 3:13-14, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Had the renowned inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, given up on his work of inventing an incandescent light bulb, there is a possibility that electricity as it is know it today would not exist. After over 9,000 attempts at electricity, the right connection was made and current began to flow through the wires and produced light. Edison was willing to fail again and again. Unlike the average person, with each failure he picked himself up and kept persevering onward to his goal. He once said, “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
The most powerful and perfect pattern of determination is that of Jesus Christ. He stated in recurrent passages of Scripture that His purpose on earth was to do His Father’s will. His purpose was, “…to seek and to save that which was lost.” Christ went through much temptation, suffering and anguish, yet, He doggedly refused to yield to the pain and to the torment. This became most evident in the account of Christ’s time in the garden of Gethsemane on the night before His crucifixion. Here in the garden, all alone, Jesus spent some time praying, not necessarily that His impending death be taken away, but rather that, as He submitted to God’s will, He would be granted the determination needed to press on. “And he was withdrawn from them [the disciples] about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.’ And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 19:41-44) Christ followed through with the plan that the Father had for Him. He was determined to do the right thing, even to the point of death.
Determination is one of the most difficult traits to acquire. It is a compilation of faithfulness, loyalty, and courage. Just as Christ displayed all of these in His determination to die on the cross for the sins of the world, so ought every Christian be unwavering in their stand for what is right and carry on the work that Christ has called them to do. As Paul said, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”