(Revised: 2011)

(Powerpoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at and request #185.)

ILL. The 1992 Summer Olympics featured two tremendously heart-rending moments. American sprinter Gail Devers, the clear leader in the 100 meter hurdles, tripped over the last barrier. She agonizingly pulled herself to her knees & crawled the last five meters, finishing fifth - but finishing, nevertheless.

Even more emotional was the 400 meter semifinal in which British runner Derek Redmond tore a hamstring & fell hard on the track. He struggled to his feet & began to hobble, determined to complete the race.

His father ran from the stands to help him off the track, but Derek refused to quit. He leaned on his father, & the two limped to the finish line together, accom-panied by the deafening applause of the thousands assembled there that day. (John E. Anderson, "What Makes Olympic Champions?" Reader’s Digest, February 1994, p. 120)

A. I like to hear stories about people who won't give up. Quitters aren't much of an inspiration, but people who stay with a commitment even though the going gets tough are a source of inspiration to us all.

Do you remember the man who came to Jesus & said, "I'll follow you wherever you go"? Jesus told him, "Before you make that kind of commitment, you need to realize that foxes have holes & the birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."

"In other words, if you follow me, realize that there will be difficulties. There will be times when you will not know where you'll sleep, or where your next meal is coming from. There will be difficult & discouraging times. But after you realize that, & then put your hands to the plow," He said, "don't look back."

B. When people start the Christian life, & then quit when the going gets tough, they can become an object of ridicule to some, & a source of discouragement to others. That's the reason Hebrews 12:1 3 is so important.

As some of you know, the apostle Paul often compared the Christian life to athletic events. And he is doing so in this passage. Listen as I read it to you.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders & the sin that so easily entangles, & let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author & perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, & sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

“Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary & lose heart."

Now in this passage Paul is not comparing the Christian life to a wind sprint, but to a marathon. In a wind sprint you run as fast as you can for a short distance, & speed is the critical factor. But in a marathon, endurance is the critical
Leo Elorde Romagos
August 1, 2015
,great sermon-timely!!!
V.p. Singh
March 30, 2012
Thanks for this inspiring message
Dr. Rubai Mandela
July 21, 2011
I love this message and will certainly share it with many others starting with my own family. God bless you as you continue with the good work.
Nigel Hundy
June 25, 2011
I sat and wept as i read this today. I''m going to take this message and preach it (with the necessary changes to fit the cultural make-up of our church). I''ve been at the point of giving up and quitting. I''ve recently been given bad news regarding my health and i''ve just wanted to run away. Your message ministered to my heart today and by the grace of God will minister to my congregation tomorrow. Bless you.
Good word! Thank you.
Good word! Thank you.
Great word! Thanks.
Sheryl Menke
December 6, 2008
I certainly enjoyed this and plan on sharing it with some of the men and women of our downtown church annex. They are having difficulty in running the race. Many of them have nothing. I also gleaned from this for myself today. Thanks Sheryl
it is very encouraging!
Leo Elorde Romagos
August 1, 2015
a m also encouraged dr bob.i am also from the philippines and been in the ministry for quite sometime and the tendency is to quit..