“Don’t give up! Don’t quit! Finish strong!” I have no idea how many times those words were whispered, spoken, or even shouted to me. Yet too often, I have quit too soon.
Hebrews 10:29 puts it this way,
“We are not of those who shrink back in fear and perish,
but those who have faith unto life.”
One famous quote from Winston Churchill states emphatically, “NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP!”
“But as for you, be strong and do not give up,
for your work will be rewarded.”
2 Chronicles 15:7
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.
At just the right time we will reap
a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong”
1 Corinthians 16:13
It is hard to stand firm when you feel like you are being pulled in, dragged down, or run over.
Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business, and suffered a nervous breakdown.
He could have quit many times – but he didn’t and because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in history.
- 1816: His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
- 1818: His mother died.
- 1831: Failed in business.
- 1832: Ran for state legislature – lost.
- 1832: Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
- 1833: Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
- 1834: Ran for state legislature again – won.
- 1835: Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died, and his heart was broken.
- 1836: Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
- 1838: Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
- 1840: Sought to become elector – defeated.
- 1843: Ran for Congress – lost.
- 1846: Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
- 1848: Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
- 1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
- 1854: Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
- 1856: Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – got less than 100 votes.
- 1858: Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
- 1860: Elected president of the United States
Failures Who Became Successes
History reveals many who society would call failures yet ultimately wrote great success stories through their lives:
- Thomas Edison’s failed 32,000 times before he invented the phonograph.
- Theodor Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss, had his first book rejected by 27 different publishers.
- Henry Ford endured a couple of failed automobile businesses.
- Sir James Dyson went through 5,126 failed vacuum cleaner prototypes and his savings.
- Walt Disney was fired because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
- Colonel Harland David Sanders was fired from dozens of jobs before founding a fried chicken empire.
The bible also has a long list of its own of social failures who names are now synonymous with success: Moses, David, Jonah, Peter to name a few.
Jesus – The Example
“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,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
For the joy set before him
he endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Hebrews 12: 1-3
Jesus Taught – Pray and Don’t Give Up
“One day Jesus told his disciples a story
to show that they
should always pray and never give up.”
(Read more on finishing well!)
I’m not sure if any of you needed this little pep talk today, but there are times and seasons when I need to encourage myself to keep going. Reminding myself that life is a marathon, not a sprint, prepares me to get up and go again.
A reward awaits…
You are stronger than think,
more resilient that you can imagine.
You are not running the course in vain.
Jesus Christ and a great crowd of witnesses is cheering
they see and know the victory