Have you ever wanted to give up? Quit? Throw in the towel? Crawl back in bed and pull the covers over your head so as not face another day filled with disappointments and letdowns? If so, you’re in good company.
Knowing the human tendency to want to quit in the face of adversity, Sir Winston Churchill, speaking at a commencement ceremony, gave one of the shortest speeches ever recorded… He walked up to the podium to address the graduates, and looked out over the vast crowd and simply said:
“Never give in! Never give in! Never! Never! Never! Never! In anything great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
Good words of encouragement. The Bible is filled with examples of men who felt like giving up:
- Abraham, when faced with a famine and a poor economy went south, leaving the land of promise and moving to Egypt. By leaving the Promised Land, he also risked forsaking God’s blessing.
- Moses, growing frustrated with the complaints of the children of Israel asked God to take his life… He literally said, “If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin” (Numbers 11:15).
- Elijah, on the heels of the greatest victory in his ministry, ran in terror into the wilderness to escape Queen Jezebel’s henchmen. He prayed to God that he might die when he prayed these words, “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died” (1 Kings 19:4, NLT).
- We are talking about Moses and Elijah here… two of the most prominent figures in Israel’s history, yet they both encountered periods of deep discouragement and times when they wanted to quit!
- Peter, who walked on the water, later on returned to his fishing business after denying Jesus three times. In fact, all of the disciples except John forsook Jesus at the cross and fled.
- Jesus Himself wanted to quit. The night He was betrayed, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane, and in deep distress and anguish He prayed, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). In other words, Jesus was saying, “Father, I don’t want to go to the cross. I want to quit! But I would rather do Your will, Father!”
So, there is good reason why the Scriptures encourage us to persevere as believers…
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised (NIV).
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him (NIV).
Hebrews 12:1 exhorts us with the following… “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (NIV).
May every single one of us run the race marked out for us with determination and perseverance, for “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:4, NIV).
Whatever you do… Don’t Quit!