Summary: We are encouraged to be persistent in living for God, this offers helps to not give up.
In For the Long Haul
“In June l955, Winston Churchill, who was then near the end of his life, was asked to give a commencement address at a British University. At this time he was physically infirm; he had to be helped to the podium. Then he held on to the podium for what seemed an interminable amount of time. He stood with his head down but then finally raised that great leonine head of his, and the voice that years before had called Britain back from the brink of destruction sounded publicly for the last time in history.
"Never give up. Never give up. Never give up." With that, Churchill turned and went back to his seat. I’m told there was silence, and then, as if one person, the whole audience rose to applaud him, because he was a man whose life and words were together. Again and again throughout Churchill’s political career, he had known setbacks. Three times, his career apparently was over, he was sent off to oblivion, and yet somehow he had a sense that there was still something left after the worst.”
This was apparently a theme for the life of Churchill because during WW II he gave a speech to the English people during the darkest times of the war in which he used only seven (7) words, “Never, Never, Never, Never, Never, give up.”
This upcoming week the nation will observe the horrible day of 9/11/01. That day in which groups of terrorist declared war on the American people. Some claim that they declared war on all peace loving people. The world, our nation, was in shock. We watched with anticipation as events unfolded over the following weeks. Would there be more attacks? What was President Bush going to do? Would congress back him? Would the world stand by as we sought to right this wrong?
We will have the events, new stories and follow up stories all this week. What I am thinking about as we move toward Wednesday the 11th is the day that Mr. Bush gave the speech declaring War on Terrorism. Do you remember that speech? Do you remember the standing ovations that he received? Do you recall the words of agreement and commitments of support that came from across the globe? I do, with clarity. I remember because at the time I was asking the question, “how long will this last?” I remember thing that this war will never succeed. Why? Because the American people do not have the fortitude for a long drawn out war. As a whole we have very short attention spans. The enemy knew that all they had to do was lay low and wait, the fervor would pass with time. IF YOU have been listening to the news the last couple of weeks you know that I am being proven right. World leaders, congress members and individuals are wanting to stop the War on Terrorism.
On the other hand we have the shining examples of people going far beyond what was expected of them to serve their fellow humans. Police, Fire and medical emergency people literally laid it on the line in this time of emergency. They are still working under that zeal and commitment today.
What makes the difference? Why do some simply refuse to quit while others can’t seem to finish anything?
This has caused me to do some serious thinking and Bible study on perseverance, stick to itividness, or just simply being in for the long haul.
Bible Foundation for Long Haul Living
– Luke 18:1 “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show that they should always pray and not give up.” (NIV)
In the past I have understood this parable to encourage Persistence in Prayer. It certainly does that, but what stands out to me this time of study is the word “AND”. This word connections prayer and not give up. But they are still two separate issues.
Jesus was concerned that:
We would pray and
That we would not give up.
Stay for the Long Haul – in what?
“But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?” Luke 18:8 (The Message)
With Christ – most of us know someone who has given
up on God.
Disciplines – prayers are not answered as one
expected, the Bible has been silent on a
subject so they just give up on spiritual
Church – decisions made that one does not agree with;
people put in positions that one thinks does
not belong there; and services are not what
we want so we just quit going. Giving up on
Ministry – work is hard, response is not what we
expect and no one seems to appreciate our