I don’t know and about you, but I give up too easily. The drive of Paul the Apostle in scripture humbles me. He never gave up. For example, Paul and Barnabas were preaching and healing in a town called Lystra when some Jews from another town stirred up the crowd listening to them. Look at what Acts 14 :19&20 says about this, “Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. 20 But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city.” The Apostles preached and healed; yet, for all their wonderful, life-changing effort, a stirred up, frenzied crowd ended up stoning Paul and dragged him outside the city limits thinking he was dead and left him there for the buzzards to feast on. The disciples eventually gathered around him trying to figure out what to do when Paul regained his consciousness. Can you imagine how sore, beat up and groggy he was? You would think that he would be licking his wounds, feeling sorry for himself. Yet, he did what seemed to be crazy. That Dude got up and walked right back into town. His work was not finished! That kind of commitment and drive is embarrassing to me. I give up way too quickly not realizing rewards are right around the corner.
Paul in Galatians 6:9&10 speaks to this, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” He challenges us to be steadfast and strong and to “not give up” when we are “doing good.” How many times have we given up on a person or opportunities when a harvest could have been reaped if we had persisted?
James 1:2-4 gives additional insight, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Have a positive, persistent attitude when trials come your way. Why? “The testing of your faith produces perseverance.” Perseverance expressed leads to maturity and growth.
Don’t be a “giver-upper.” Too many relationships could be healed, people who could be saved, and growth could be had if we persisted.