Don’t give up!

I am fascinated with stories of people who “hang in there” until they reach their goal.

When I was a child, I remember my father telling me the story of Thomas Edison who developed the first practical electric light bulb. Edison failed many times before he finally succeeded.

As one writer noted: “With unflagging determination, Edison and his team tried out thousands of theories, convinced that every failure brought them one step closer to success.”

As I grow older, I see more and more the dangers of discouragement. People fail to reach their potential because they give up too soon.

Discouragement affects Christians just as much as anyone else. We get discouraged because we fail to measure up to our own standards or someone else’s standards. Or, our particular dream seems impossible to reach.

We all need to keep our eye on the prize as the apostle Paul says. Every once in a while, I remind myself of Paul’s words in Philippians 3:13-14:

“Forgetting the past, and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

Paul was not worrying about what others thought of him or comparing his accomplishments with someone else’s. He knew he was called by God to tell people about the good news of Jesus Christ and he was going to do it no matter what discouraging obstacles he faced.

That meant putting behind him the defeats he suffered and the hurtful things people said. Always, his eye was on Jesus Christ and what Jesus wanted him to do.

This is good advice for me. Like most people, I get discouraged. I get discouraged with my own walk with God. And I am disheartened when other believers I know lose heart and stop dreaming about what God can do in their lives.

I need to remind myself, as well, that my particular dreams need to be checked with God. Am I doing what God has called me to do?

A great hero of mine, George Muller, made a point of seeking what God wanted from him and then doing it even though he often didn’t know where the money would come from that day to feed the hundreds and, ultimately, thousands of orphans he cared for. He listened to what the Spirit of God was telling him through the Bible and then prayed with faith.

I need to “hang in there” and keep my eye on what Jesus is asking me to do.

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