“Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” So, Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So, he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And SEVEN TIMES he said, “Go again.” Then it came to pass the SEVENTH TIME, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So, he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’” Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So, Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel.” – 1 Kings 18:41-45 New King James Version. 

“So, I say to you, ask and keep on asking, and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking, and you will find; knock and keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking [persistently], receives; and he who keeps on seeking [persistently], finds; and to him who keeps on knocking [persistently], the door will be opened.” – Luke 11:9-10 Amplified Bible.

Kenya’s Kimani Nganga Maruge hit the headlines around the world earlier 2004 for being the oldest man in Kenya to start school at age eighty-four following the Kenyan government’s announcement of free universal primary education in 2003 by the late Emilio Mwai Kibaki, the third president of the Republic of Kenya.

Kenya’s government introduced free primary schooling in 2003, making it possible for Mr. Maruge to attend. Two of his thirty grandchildren attend the same school, but they are in more senior grades. Mr. Maruge said he never had the opportunity to go to school when he was younger. The great-grandfather won a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest person in the world to start primary school. 

He said one of his main aims for starting school was to learn to count the money he expects to receive in compensation from the authorities for fighting against the British. He also hopes to learn to read the Bible – because he does not trust the version, he hears each week in church.

Maruge`s dream to become literate was never without resistance as depicted in The First Grader, a 2010 biographical drama film inspired by Maruge`s true story. Against fierce opposition from officials and parents, who did not want a precious educational place to be given to an old man, Maruge was accepted into the school to learn alongside the six-year-olds. 

Even after he was forced to attend an adult learning center, where he soon finds himself surrounded by people with no motivation or ambition to study. Maruge vows to never go back to the adult institution and was able to return to the elementary school as a teaching assistant which was also resisted but he was reinstated when he went to plead his case before the board of education in the nation`s capital. Supplementally, he was invited to make a speech before international leaders at the UN in New York regarding the power of education. He inspired a whole new generation of people to go to school for the first time. Maruge later died in 2009. 

Maruge`s story just like President Abraham Lincoln is a contemporary example of PERSISTENT FAITH in action! A FAITH that does bow to resistance nor give in to the opposition. This is the kind of faith that the Lord Jesus Christ illustrated in Luke 18:1-8 with the widow and the Judge.

The Lord Jesus after the parable, which is about prayer said, “…Listen to what the unjust judge says! And will not [our just] God defend and avenge His elect [His chosen ones] who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay [in providing justice] on their behalf? I tell you that He will defend and avenge them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [THIS KIND OF PERSISTENT] FAITH on the earth?” [Luke 18:7-8 Amplified Bible]. 

PERSISTENT FAITH is what we all need to turn our desires into reality, the odds against us notwithstanding because all things are possible for the one who believes! [Mark 9:23 New English Translation]. Author and Businessman, Justin Sachs said, “The more you are persistent in one area of life, the hungrier you become for persistence in other areas of your life.” And persistence is the common denominator that most successful people in the world have in common!

What can you do to become more persistent in your faith in God? What adjustment do you need to make in your life that will make you more persistent in your faith in God? As you sincerely evaluate yourself with these questions, you will develop a new level of awareness on how to become more persistent in your faith in God!