Never Give Up

Hebrew 12:1-6

 

Endurance is something that we need in today’s world.  Sometimes we don’t understand the concept of this elusive trait in our busy lives. Endurance isn’t simply accepting a trial and suffering through it, we are to triumph in the difficult times.  Sometimes we take the view of the fatalist when we need to develop patience to master things.

   

Endurance is not something that stops because of discouragement from outside influences or inner feelings; it a steadfastness that carries on until the end.  Endurance gets there.  In this life we can’t just accept everything as it is, endurance is all about not giving up.

    

In our active lives today, where might be the areas where we need to endure?  Endurance is necessary in our family life, raising our children, and getting an education. Endurance is needed today in the local church.  J. Alexander Clarke said “the normal condition is difficulty.” Today the mission field is filled with interpersonal conflicts.  During the difficult days of illness and disability we find that the ‘spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.  William MacDonald comments, “The Christian life must not be an initial spasm followed by chronic inertia.”

 

There are things in this life today that can cause us to turn back in the Christian journey.  We might find ourselves in a toxic relationship; there may be some besetting sin that prevents us from moving forward.  Joni Eareckson Tada says that there is no such thing as a stationary Christian, there only two gears forward or reverse.  Proverbs 19:3 is translated in Today’s English Version as, “ Some people ruin themselves by their own stupid actions and then blame the Lord.”

    

The Bible has some wonderful examples of endurance.  On of the most prominent examples of the Old Testament would be Job.  He was tested by the devil but the Bible tells us he never sinned (Job 1:22) His wife told him to “Curse God and die.” (Job 2:9)

 

Paul is a good example in the New Testament. I Corinthians 11 Paul talks about the abuse he had to endure for the sake of the gospel (good news). 

 

The perfect example of endurance is the Lord Jesus Christ.  Chapter 12 of Hebrews tells us the Christ “endured the cross” (Hebrews 12: 2).  Isaiah 53 tells us “He was despised and rejected.”  We can read the scenes of the crucifixion in the gospels and we see the punishment that the Lord Jesus went through for us and we realize that Christ endured the sin of the whole world.  

 

A prominent leader once said “ Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success.  They quit on the one yard line.  They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from the winning touch down.”

 

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

 

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

 

Author unknown

    

The Lord Jesus Christ endured the “untold contradiction of sinners against himself” (Hebrews 12:3). He endured the cross despising the shame (Hebrews 12:2). He finished the work He was sent to do (John 17:4).  The Lord Jesus Christ never thought of turning back, He was here to do the Father’s will.  When Christ did the Father’s will it was like nourishment when he completed the work of the cross. As we walk this road that we call life we need to love God in our hearts and have the spirit of Amy Carmichael when she wrote these words:

 

My hand is on the plow, my falt’ring hand;

But all in front of me is untilled land.

The wilderness and solitary place ,

The lonely dessert with it’s interspace.

 

The handles of my plow with tears are wet;

The shares with rust are spoiled, and yet, and yet,

Out in the field, ne’er let the reins be slack;

My God! My God! keep me from tuning back

 

Don‘t Give Up!

 

 

By: Pastor Brian McKibbin