6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Ever feel like quitting? You know, the ministry, job, family, life? I hope this sermon will help.


Jer 20:7-9

Wilma didn’t get much of a head start in life. A bout with polio left her left leg crooked and her foot twisted inward so she had to wear leg braces. After seven years of painful therapy, she could walk without her braces. At age 12 Wilma tried out for a girls basketball team, but didn’t make it. Determined, she practiced with a girlfriend and two boys every day. The next year she made the team. When a college track coach saw her during a game, he talked her into letting him train her as a runner. By age 14 she had outrun the fastest sprinters in the U.S. In 1956 Wilma made the U.S. Olympic team, but showed poorly. That bitter disappointment motivated her to work harder for the 1960 Olympics in Rome--and there Wilma Rudolph won three gold medals, the most a woman had ever won. Today in the Word, Moody Bible Institute, Jan, 1992, p.10.

How many times have you felt like quitting? Quitting your family, your job, your church, how about the Lord? I know, we don’t like to admit it do we? But when we look at Jeremiah we find a man that wanted to quit and couldn’t. Let’s learn from him today.


A) Jeremiah was the prophet of gloom and doom. He proclaimed the word of God boldly and it wasn’t an easy message to proclaim.

B) Most of the world today doesn’t want to hear about what God says is right and wrong. II Tim 4:3

1) A sign of a good church is one that not only allows but encourages sound teaching and preaching even when it gets on our toes. Ill. Preacher saying “When someone says amen it is like saying sickem to a bulldog. Man came out after church and said “Preacher when a bulldog has got you by the pants leg the last thing you want to say is sickem.”

2) Proverbs 16:25 We must warn the world with the truth of God’s Word.

C) But you don’t know what job God has given me!! No, I don’t. But I do know what job He gave Jeremiah and I wouldn’t want it.

1) Zedekiah, King of Judah came to Jeremiah and asked if he would go to God and seek a miracle to keep Nebucadnezzar from attacking them.

2) Jeremiah came back with the answer:

a) I will not give you a miracle.

b) Not only that, I will make your weapons useless against Nebucadnezzar.

c) Anyone not killed in war or pestilence will be given as slaves to Nebucadnezzer.


A) They made plans against him.

1) To kill him—His own family threatened to kill him if he didn’t quit preaching gloom and doom.

2) To create rumors against him---to destroy his effectiveness.

3) To just ignore him.

B) Last Sunday night we studied Prov 6:16 “A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations.”

C) When you stand for the truth, there will be people who will not like it or you. John 15:18-19

In ancient Rome, crowds by the tens of thousands would gather in the Colosseum to watch as Christians were torn apart by wild animals. Paul Rader, commenting on his visit to this famous landmark, said, "I stood uncovered to the heavens above, where He sits for whom they gladly died, and asked myself, ’Would I, could I, die for Him tonight to get this gospel to the ends of the earth?’" Rader continued, "I prayed most fervently in that Roman arena for the spirit of a martyr, and for the working of the Holy Spirit in my heart, as He worked in Paul’s heart when He brought him on his handcuffed way to Rome." Those early Christians "lived on the threshold of heaven, within a heartbeat of home, no possessions to hold them back." –Our Daily Bread


A) Maybe today, you are looking at your role in life….maybe your considering quitting but you know God wants to use you. Don’t quit.

B) Because:

1) The need is too great. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Matt 7:13

2) That burning inside is too intense. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay(quit).

I look at a stone cutter hammering away at a rock a hundred times without so much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the 101st blow it splits in two. I know it was not the one blow that did it, but all that had gone before.

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