2 Corinthians 4:5-12
- But this precious treasure—this light and power that now shine within us—is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. (2 Corinthians 4:7-9)
I know there are times when all of us feel overcome by problems and feel like quitting. I know because I’ve been there, and it is not a very pleasant feeling. . . feeling like everyone and everything is determined to make you fail. Nothing seems to go right and the harder you try, the worse things seem to get. You just want to give up and go crawl in a hole somewhere.
But Don’t Give Up!!!!
In the darkest hours, we need to remember Jesus suffered his trials and tribulations, but he didn’t give up. And no matter how bad we think we have it, I doubt any of us will be crucified on a cross.
We will get through this. . . with a little faith.
When I was on the path to ordination, there were lots of hurdles put before me that other candidates did not have. Was it fair? Probably not. But I kept plugging along, knowing that it was going to work out.
I did not give up, although it would have been a lot easier on me and those around me if I had. But then I wouldn’t be here today before you in a collar if I had.
Today I thank God for the courage to keep going, not knowing that God was allowing trials to strengthen my faith and to help me grow.
And as much as I hate platitudes, I have to say ‘what didn’t kill me made me stronger’. I know my faith is stronger and I am better equipped to minister to the church and the world.
If you feel like giving up and quitting, perhaps the following poem will encourage you to hang in, hang on, but never hang up when the going gets tough.
- 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.
Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow!
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just 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. (Anonymous)
I also like a quote that Rev Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral in Anaheim California has used:
- “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
Or as the title of one of his books says, Tough Times Never Last. Tough People Do.
God never forsook the Apostle Paul or Jesus, who faced incredible trials and opposition. And he will never forsake you or me as long as we place our trust in him.
Let Us Pray:
Dear God, thank you that you will never forsake or abandon me. Please help me always to put my trust in you and your faithfulness regardless of my circumstances, knowing that in the end my faith and trust in you will be justified. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Delivered at In the Garden, Trinity Episcopal Church on Capitol Square, Columbus, OH, 23 January 2011