Summary: The purpose of this sermon was to motivate people to endure and persist whatever the obstacle they might be facing.
January 27, 2002 Heb. 11:27,28
¡§It keeps going¡Kand going¡Kand going¡K¡¨
Have you ever felt like quitting? Last Sunday, I watched more football than I have seen probably since I was in high school. After we got home from church, I turned on the game between the St. Louis Rams and the Green Bay Packers. The score was already heavily in favor of the Rams, but there was still time enough for the Packers to pull it out if everything went right. But everything went wrong. The quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, Brett Favre, threw six interceptions last week. I¡¦m sure he felt like quitting. It got to the point in the game that there was no way that they could have won. And there were still 7 minutes left on the clock. That must have been the most agonizing 7 minutes in that quarterback¡¦s life. He didn¡¦t want to throw anymore. He didn¡¦t want to be in the spotlight anymore. He wanted them to put in the back-up quarterback. But he continued to play. And he continued to throw. And they lost. But next year, he will start again, because he endured ¡V he persisted ¡V he persevered.
Great or successful people have always been people who refused to give up. Dolly Parton, though she may not be considered great is certainly successful. When asked why she had succeeded from such a humbles background, she said this: ¡§I never stopped trying, and I never tried stopping.¡¨ Others who later became great were cast off as failures before they ever were given a real chance. FRED ASTAIRE ¡V a memo circulated after his first screen test for MGM in 1933 ¡V ¡§Can¡¦t act !, slightly bald !, can dance a little¡¨
WALT DISNEY ¡V was fired by a newspaper editor for lack of ideas. He also went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland.
ALBERT EINSTEIN ¡V didn¡¦t speak until he was 4, didn¡¦t write until he was 7. His teacher described him as ¡§mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in foolish dreams¡¨. F.W.WOOLWORTH ¡V his employers at the dry goods store said he had not enough sense to wait upon customers.
WINSTON CHURCHILL ¡V failed at junior school. Did not become PM until he was 62 after a lifetime of defeats and set backs. His greatest contributions came when he was a ¡¥senior citizen¡¦. ¡§Persistent people know they can succeed where smarter and more talented people fail¡KSuccessful people understand that no one makes it to the top in a single bound. What truly sets them apart is their willingness to keep putting one step in front of the other ¡V no matter how rough the terrain.¡¨ ¡V Suzanne Chazin, ¡§The ultimate key to success,¡¨ Reader¡¦s Digest, April 1992, 21-26 Each of the people I just mentioned refused to give up. Each one endured. And each one made a definite impact on the world of today.
This morning, we¡¦re going to continue to look at people of faith, specifically Moses. In his life, I want us to see that faith will produce endurance that can enable us to keep on going in spite of the obstacles that threaten to hold us back.
Endure - to hold up under (pain, fatigue, etc.) stand; bear; undergo / to put up with; tolerate / to continue in existence; last; remain / to bear pain etc. without flinching.
In a couple of weeks, the winter Olympics will begin in Salt Lake City. The opening ceremonies are on Feb. 8. During the time of the olympics, we will see people perform in many different events ¡V ice skating, ice hockey, skiing, bob sledding. Each athlete is different. They speak different languages, they have different skills, and they have different chances of winning that gold medal. But one thing they all have in common. They have all endured to get where they are. They have endured people who said they couldn¡¦t do it. They have endured long practices and short nights of sleep. They have endured falls, and broken bones, and disappointments. But now they are in the olympics. And whatever their performance level when their event arrives, they can be proud. They made it ¡V simply because they endured.
persist ¡V to refuse to give up especially when faced with opposition or difficulty; to continue firmly or steadily / to continue consistently, as in repeating a question; to continue to exist or prevail; endure; remain.
I recently heard about a guy who stopped in the grocery store on the way home from work to pick up a couple of items for his wife. As is often the case in the grocery store, he kept passing this same shopper in almost every aisle. It was another father trying to shop with a totally uncooperative three year old boy in the cart. The first time they passed, the three year old was asking over and over for a candy bar. Our observer couldn¡¦t hear the entire conversation. He just heard Dad say, ¡§Now, Billy, this won¡¦t take long.¡¨ As they passed in the next aisle, the three year old¡¦s pleas had increased several octaves. Now Dad was quietly saying, ¡§Billy, just calm down. We will be done in a minute.¡¨ When they passed near the dairy case, the kid was screaming uncontrollably. Dad was still keeping his cool. In a very low voice he was saying, ¡§Billy, settle down. We are almost out of here.¡¨ The Dad and his son reached the check out counter just ahead of our observer. He still gave no evidence of loosing control. The boy was screaming and kicking. Dad was very calming saying over and over, ¡§Billy, we will be in the car in just a minute and then everything will be OK.¡¨ The bystander was impressed beyond words. After paying for his groceries, he hurried to catch up with this amazing example of patience and self-control just in time to hear him say again, ¡§Billy, we¡¦re done. It¡¦s going to be OK.¡¨ He tapped the patient father on the shoulder and said, ¡§Sir, I couldn¡¦t help but watch how you handled little Billy. You were amazing.¡¨ Dad replied, ¡§You don¡¦t get it, do you?¡¨ I¡¦m Billy!¡¨