The Power of Persistence

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

It wasn’t enough that Wilhelm Stenhammar was talented. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, on this day in 1871, he proved his skills while young, as both pianist and organist. This led to important conducting assignments.

But, in his heart, he really wanted to be a composer. Even though he received little formal encouragement, he desired to write “large scale works.” His first symphony was his initial foray into this form. Then everything changed.

Just a month before the first performance of that symphony, Stenhammar was described as being emotionally “shattered.” Why? He had his first encounter with the second symphony of Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. Stenhammar suddenly felt intimidated and inadequate.

After allowing his symphony to be performed once, he was plagued with doubts and never allowed it to be performed again in his lifetime. Ten years later, he had gained enough confidence to write a second symphony, but acted as though his first symphony never existed.

Later generations would admire Stenhammar’s music. And they would wonder what could have happened if he had not become so discouraged. What if he had continued to develop his gifts?

Many Believers face the same kind of dilemma. They have been given unique talents and abilities by God. Yet, comparing themselves with others, they feel intimidated. Instead of developing their talents, they “hide” them (Matthew 25:14-31).

Paul knew that Timothy might have been intimidated or insecure. Paul reminded him that “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” Instead of allowing his spiritual gifts to become dormant, Timothy needed to “kindle afresh” the gift God had given him (2 Timothy 1:6-7). Paul told him not to give up, even in the face of hardships. Instead, he should focus on fulfilling his calling.

Do you ever feel discouraged? Overwhelmed? Inadequate? Don’t give in or give up! And don’t bury the talents God has given you. Seek to be faithful, bold, and diligent.