Summary: This is all about persevering in the Christian faith in the face of trials and obstacles.
NARNIA: PRESSING ON
HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE GIVING UP? Quitting on life? Throwing in the towel? If so, you may take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. This is the common lot of men. Discouragement is the devil’s chief tool. He wields it often and strikes with impunity.
In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Susan, the eldest of four children comes to a point of doing just that. She wants to turn back, to go home. The way is hard. The task is too difficult. The White Witch has left a threatening note that sends chills up and down their spines. But Lucy declares that they must press on, especially because she believes that she is responsible for a friend (Mr. Tumnus) being in danger. She is motivated by love and loyalty. Though the way is hard, they must continue on to do what they can to rescue a friend.
Everyone of us have times when we feel like quitting. Our problems may vary, but what’s the difference? The end result is the same. It isn’t easy to live a godly life in a godless world. But then it never has been. In fact, Jesus warned us to expect valleys as well as mountain tops.
When we feel like Susan, its time to look again at verse nine of our scripture passage: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
What this verse is really saying in essence is, “DON’T QUIT!” If we quit, we’ll lose our rewards; but if we don’t quit we shall reap a reward that has been promised in God’s Word.
In other words, “Don’t let your defeats defeat you.” Don’t let discouragements, failures and disappointments which seem to heap themselves upon you cause you to say, “I give up.”:
Looking back on your life, were there some things you wish you hadn’t quit? School? A diet? Exercise program? Piano lessons? A job? A relationship?
Its easier to go out and play than to practice scales. Its easier to watch TV than to attend a Bible study. Its easier to walk out of a room after an argument than to stay and try to work through it. Its easier to sleep in than to get up and attend church. Its easier to give in to that temptation than it is to say, “No!”
What determines our success or failure as a Christian is not the valley that we may go through, but what we do while passing that way! Let me share with you several huge contributing factors as to why people often give up. If we recognize them and are prepared to deal with them, then we can avoid the “quitter’s syndrome.” We can ascribe to the adage, “When the going gets tough, the tough keep going.”
The only people in this world that are never criticized are people who do nothing. They don’t stand for anything. They don’t live for anything. They don’t believe in anything. They just kind of drift along with the current.
Whenever you try to do anything great for God, there will be those that love you and those that do not. The devil will see to it. In fact, you can be sure of it. Jesus said it would be so. But He also said, “Don’t quit.”
Two of the greatest men who were living during the 40’s, who helped shape the future of our world were Winston Churchill and Douglas McArthur. And both of them had this quote on their office walls from Abraham Lincoln:
“If I were to try to read, much less answer all the attacks
made on me, this shop may as well be closed for any
other business. I do the very best I can and the very
best I know how. And I mean to keep on doing that to
the very end. If the end brings me out all right, then what
is said against me won’t matter. And if the end brings
me out wrong, ten angels swearing that I was right will
make no difference..”
If David had listened to the criticism offered by his brother, he never would have defeated Goliath.
A father and his son took a donkey into town to go to the market. The father rode, the son walked. Along the way, some people commented, “How selfish: a big, strong man riding on the donkey’s back while the young boy walks.” So the father traded places with his son and continued the journey. Soon, others began to say, “How disrespectful: the boy riding while the old man has to walk.” At that point, they both got on the donkey’s back, only to hear, “How cruel: two people sitting on one donkey.” So they got off and began to walk alongside the donkey. And others began to say, “How foolish: this donkey has nothing on his back and two people are walking.” In exasperation, they turned around and went home...they never made it to the market. They got their eyes off the goal and onto their critics. This is what happens when we let critics control our every move.