Statistics etc. are being presented all the time now informing us of how many churches are folding up every day all across America. It’s alarming. Reports are also regularly posted as to the numbers of pastors who are leaving the ministry. And of course we have the data on the number of people who are giving up on their marriages. This is tragic. It seems like our culture has become, in great measure, one characterized by giving up.
But don’t you do it. God in His Word, commands and encourages us not to give up. Galatians 6:9 is an example: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” It’s faith in action that keeps people from giving up, and it's this kind of faith that gets its reward.
So don’t give up on your marriage, your family, your ministry, your Bible-based principles, your good and honorable dreams, or on your country. Do everything possible to preserve and protect these good things. Work and pray, and fight and pray. But don’t give up on these precious things. You’ll regret it throughout the rest of your life if you do. And the collateral damage to others because of your giving up may be immense.
There are some things that should be given up as soon and as thoroughly as possible; things like bad attitudes and habits. But resolve in your heart to never give up on the things that are good and that really count in life. Quit even thinking about quitting on these things. Remember what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:58: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." There are rewards in this life, and in the one to come for those in God's family who embrace and follow this admonition from our Lord.
The following poem was a special blessing to me in the early days of my ministry. It is still taped to the inside cover of one of my old Bibles, and I have it in a little frame in my study. Let me share it with you.
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,
When 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 queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow 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,
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.