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“THE DESPAIR OF DISCOURAGEMENT”

Any person that ever played sports has memories of coaches, posters, and parents giving mottos and mantras to keep in mind when times of fatigue or injury bring discouragement.  Our locker room in high school had those classics like, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”  Coaches would use both positive and negative motivational techniques to challenge “boys” to play like “men”.  Sometimes it worked!

I have collected some of the quotes of famous people in illustration files regarding what they had to say about perseverance and not ever giving up.

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. Newt Gingrich.   Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority. Vince Lombardi.  Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance. Samuel Johnson.  Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th. Julie Andrews.  Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak. Thomas Carlyle.  And, one of my favorites…..By perseverance the snail reached the ark. Charles Spurgeon.

Scripture is also filled with verses to challenge us in our journey.  We are to be strong and live as overcomers!  Here are a few reminders…..Stand firm, and you will win life. (Luke 21:19).  ….being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.  (Col.1:11).  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  (Gal.6:9).

No great challenge is accomplished by slothfulness or casual commitment.  It does not take much to be ineffective.  However, those that rise to the top are people that were focused on goals that they were determined to reach.  No obstacle was strong enough to cause them to quit in their efforts.  No personal injury, loss, set-back, or discouragement would deter them from giving their very best for a lifetime (sometimes) to achieve the goal of their dreams.

One of the greatest men responsible for the abolishing of slavery was William Wilberforce. His gallant efforts for a lifetime achieved his desired aim, but took every ounce of strength to do it.

Young William Wilberforce was discouraged one night in the early 1790s after another defeat in his 10 year battle against the slave trade in England. Tired and frustrated, he opened his Bible and began to leaf through it. A small piece of paper fell out and fluttered to the floor. It was a letter written by John Wesley shortly before his death. Wilberforce read it again:

“Unless the divine power has raised you up… I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that (abominable practice of slavery), which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? Oh, be not weary of well-doing. Go on in the name of God, and in the power of His might.”  (Copied).

Whatever God has given you to do, “do it with all your heart and strength!”   He is with you!