Summary: Never give up on prayer and trusting the Lord. In God’s time and in God’s manner, your answer will come.
NEVER GIVE UP
by Pastor Jim May
In 1972, NASA launched the exploratory space probe Pioneer 10. The satellite’s primary mission was to reach Jupiter, photograph the planet and its moons, and beam data to earth about Jupiter’s magnetic field, radiation belts, and atmosphere. Scientists regarded this as a bold plan, because at that time no earth satellite had ever gone beyond Mars, and they feared the asteroid belt would destroy the satellite before it could reach its target.
But Pioneer 10 accomplished its mission and much, much more. Swinging past the giant planet in November 1973, Jupiter’s immense gravity hurled Pioneer 10 at a higher rate of speed toward the edge of the solar system. At one billion miles from the sun, Pioneer 10 passed Saturn. At some two billion miles, it hurtled past Uranus; Neptune at nearly three billion miles; Pluto at almost four billion miles. By 1997, twenty-five years after its launch, Pioneer 10 was more than six billion miles from the sun.
And despite that immense distance, Pioneer 10 continued to beam back radio signals to scientists on Earth. "Perhaps most remarkable is that those signals come from an 8-watt transmitter, which radiates about as much power as a bedroom night light, and that it takes more than nine hours to reach Earth."
The Little Satellite That Could was not qualified to do what it did. Engineers designed Pioneer 10 with a useful life of just three years. But it kept going and going. By simple longevity, its tiny 8-watt transmitter radio accomplished more than anyone thought possible.
So it is when we offer ourselves to serve the Lord. God can work even through someone with 8-watt abilities. God cannot work, however, through someone who quits.
How many times do we become discouraged, impatient and ready to throw in the towel? (That’s an old saying that comes from the world of Boxing. When one of the boxers has gone as far as he can go, so his manager throws a towel into the ring to signal that the match is forfeited.)
It’s sad to say, but I don’t know of many people whose greatest virtue is patience. We all know that patience is gained through the crucible of trials and troubles and for that reason many are afraid to pray for patience. We have enough troubles now, without asking for more. I think the point that we miss is that God is going to allow us to go through trials and tests whether we pray for patience or not, so we may as well ask God to help us learn patience through it all anyway.
There are many things in your walk with the Lord that requires a lot of patience and perseverance before the answer is going to come.
Some of you are continually asking God to help you to increase your faith. Let me tell you that faith can and will grow, but there is a method that God uses to increase your faith. First of all remember that the scripture says that Faith comes by continually hearing the Word of the Lord.
“Hearing” the Word of the Lord can mean coming to church and hearing it taught and preached from the pulpit, but I believe that “Hearing” means that we are constantly, continually meditating upon the Word of the Lord and that we are forever doing all we can to obey its precepts and allowing it to change us into the image of Christ. Most of the “hearing” is not done with the ears; it is done with the heart. You can hear me speak a message but unless it goes into your heart and stays there and begins to transform your whole life, then you really haven’t heard it at all.
Some of you have been praying for answers to a certain need in your life for a long time and you are wondering if God even hears you anymore. Others are praying for the salvation of your loved ones but it seems that the more you pray, the farther from God they run. Whatever you are praying for, don’t give up on God! The answer will come but it will come in God’s time and in God’s way. God only asks for your prayer and your faithfulness and trust in Him.
I want to point you to a short passage in the Bible that will give us a little insight into what it takes to have our prayer answered.
Matthew 9:18-19, "While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples."
Most of you know the events of this chapter already but for those who don’t remember, let me tell you about them.