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 queer 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.
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 slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell 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.
As I shared with the eight men who were installed as Deacons at our church this past Sunday evening, perseverance is one of the greatest keys to completing and fulfilling the ministry God has given to us.
Calvin Coolidge once said: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”
Jesus certainly understood this. He was up against the biggest problem the human race ever faced: sin. Yet He did not quit. He fulfilled the ministry God the Father gave to Him. Thus, just before He died on the cross for the sins of men and women, He cried out, “It is finished!”
Paul also understood this. That’s why in II Timothy 4:5-8, he said:
5 But you (Timothy), keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
For my part, I hope that I will be faithful to fulfill the ministry God has given to me. For this reason, like Jesus and like Paul, my motto must be: “I will not quit!”
What about you, today? Do you have a God-given task, ministry, or role? Will you fulfill it? If so, you must not quit! You must persevere. You must finish the race. I hope you will.