By Brent Myers, Pastor of Community Life –
OK. So here we are… five months into a new year. How are things working out for you? Did you set goals for making this year the best year ever? Did you have dreams and ambitions to make this year different? Did you plan on making things better? Well… how are you doing?
Too often we wait until it’s too late to ask these types of questions. But let me encourage you with this today: Don’t Give Up!
Maybe you’re well on your way to accomplishing your goals. To you I say: Press On! Keep pushing on! Perhaps you’ve had a rough go of it and you’ve been derailed or don’t think you could ever reach the sights you set for this year. To you I say: Press On! Keep pushing on!
Now you may be thinking, “that’s the same advice for both groups.” You’re right. The reason is because I believe this to be a fundamental principle we all need to learn: perseverance.
The apostle Paul penned these words nearly 2,000 years ago: “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.”
(Galatians 6:9, NLT)
Think about that for a moment. Let that settle in. “let’s not get tired of doing what is good,” “we will reap a… blessing,” but here is the kicker: “IF we don’t give up.”
Wow! That’s an awfully big “IF”…
Perseverance reveals a lot about ourselves. Perseverance reveals our conviction. Do I really believe in what I’m pursuing? Do I really feel deep down in my gut that what I’m going after is right and true? If I don’t believe in it, then I’ll give up quickly. But if I do believe, then how can I possibly give up?
Perseverance reveals our commitment. In his pursuit of creating a sustainable light bulb, Thomas Edison never gave up because he was committed. Edison is quoted as saying, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” If I’m really committed to it, then it’s not just a matter of “I won’t give up” but really a matter of “I can’t give up.”
Perseverance reveals our character. Who are you when no one else is watching? What do you do when you’re alone in your pursuit of your dreams and goals? If we persevere, we show our character.
Winston Churchill once said: “Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
The writer of Hebrews put it this way: “So don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion.”
(Hebrews 10:35-36, The Message)
Stick with it. Press on. Reach your goals. Go for it!
I used to work for a gentleman who would say this: “We do not determine a man’s greatness by his talent or worth, as the world does, but rather by what it takes to discourage him.” (JF)
So be great… and Don’t Give Up!