I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve felt like “throwing in the towel” at one time.
If you haven’t, I suggest that you check your pulse. Quickly.
And here’s a real shocker for you: the notion that “winners never quit” is a myth! Everyone – even “winners”- have not only felt like it, but have quit at one time or another.
I’ve been a quitter.
I got discouraged and quit my first ministry assignment 38 years ago.
The experience was humbling.
It was also instructive – I learned valuable lessons that have served me for the rest of my life.
3 Lessons About Perseverance
1. Its always too soon to quit.
If you have not finished a commitment, its too soon to quit.
That’s the beauty of making commitments – honoring commitments keep you going when you feel you can’t.
2. Its when things seem worst that you must not quit.
35 years ago I didn’t know that hard times could help create great character.
Suffering, the Bible says, creates perseverance and perseverance creates character.
I wish I had known the following 35 years ago:
“When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.”
3. The tide will turn.
The enemy of your soul wants you to quit on a good thing because its become a hard thing.
The devil wants you to think there is nothing more permanent than your temporary situation.
Know this: the tide will turn because the tide always turns.
Robert and Glenda Lennon’s Story
Robert Lennon staked his life and the life of his wife on that truth.
Glenda and Robert Lennon were four miles off the coast of Florida fishing, alone from their yacht. Glenda decided to take a swim and soon found the current had carried her too far out from the boat. Her husband, hearing her cries, without thinking dove in and swam to her, but then realized they were both being carried out. He was a champion swimmer, but not she.
They made a plan.
He would swim against the tide to keep the boat in view until the tide ceased and he could reach the boat. She should save her strength and just float with the tide and he would come and get her.
He Fought The Tide For Six Hours
Just as the boat was about to disappear on the horizon the tide turned and his strokes carried him to the boat exhausted. The sun had set. His searching was futile—he could not find his wife.
The next day on one last effort of search, a search party found his wife—twenty miles out and still alive.
Sometimes you feel like you are not making progress but you may be swimming against the tide. If Robert had not swum with all his might, the yacht would have gone out of sight, and he and his wife would have drowned.
Keep swimming or running or serving or whatever it is you have committed to.
Keep moving forward…one step at a time.
You will finish well.
APPLICATION: Help a fellow struggler. Leave a comment below about a time you were tempted to quit and what you learned. Thank you.
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Thank you so much for this. Perfect timing. I have some hard decisions to make. I was feeling so discouraged and was wanting to throw in the towel on my small home business, but you’re right… And I know it will be worth it if I just keep moving forward one step at a time. I do think I need to let another commitment go in order to be able to have a greater capacity to succeed in my business though. I feel like that commitment is taking up time and energy and focus that I need for other things. It is a good thing but it just feels like the wrong timing for it and if I let it go I believe I will see good results… In this case I hope I am not quitting but rather streamlining one area of my life in hopes of becoming more effective in another area.
For me, commitments to people always take priority over commitments to tasks…especially if the task commitment is primarily for my personal gain. So I keep my people commitments to a minimum…but I keep them. Thanks for commenting! Knowing the post was of benefot to you makes my day.
It was a very encouraging message on Sunday Pastor Bob. The tide will turn, if only we are patient and do what we are encouraged to do. Events and circumstances in life can be very challenging & feel like throwing in the towel. But our ever loving father has a plan that can not be matched with any other.
I have quit often in life, especially in my youth, when things weren’t that difficult. One day, my younger brother gave me a mug. On it was the very “Don’t Quit” poem you wrote above. I read it and cherished it. He had given me more encouragement with his gift than he realized. I had strayed from God and the message on the mug seemed to be from Him. It is one of my strongest memories.
Since then, I have thought of quitting or have actually quit for various reasons, some valid and some most decidedly not. Like you, I wish I’d understood the value of sticking to it and riding out the hard times because the lessons came all the more in adulthood. Perhaps if I’d learned then…?!
Gratefully, God is a Teacher as much as Comforter. The past four years have been a true test of not quitting. God didn’t give me the illnesses but He allowed them so I would learn to trust Him and know He never leaves me.
Even while lying on hospital beds in serious condition, I’ve had to remind myself it isn’t time to go. It isn’t time to quit. Trust God. Trust His timing, His process. It isn’t easy, when you’re facing yet another medical diagnosis or another surgery or treatment for disease, but the idea of quitting on God and my family is horrifying to me. They’ve all invested so much in me and never once quit. How could I do that to Him or to them?!
Our family still struggles and I am sure the hard times will continue to come in waves, as they do for everyone, but we continue to learn the concept of “Don’t Quit!” There is more to learn and I’m ready.
Still praying for the tide to change and, when it does, I’ll be swimming swiftly to that boat!! 😉
Thanks for being vulnerable in your sharing CD. People can relate. That is an awesome poem, isn’t it?
Its always interesting how a fact from nature can open up truth in the supernatural realm as well. Thanks for commenting!
I don’t know who you are. I have been in NP only few months, but enjoying immensely. Thank you for sharing. Yes, we all want to quit for different reasons. God is good & HE will walk us through and HE will tread with us until the tide changes & will carry us all the way. Isn’t HE awesome?!.
Be blessed. You blessed me with your sharing.
Thank you both for your encouragement. It means a lot! 🙂
May God also bless you Cynthia and I’m so glad you’ve joined the NP family!
There is a saying “What a difference a day makes”. This is so true. That’s why it is always to soon to quit. I discovered the Don’t Quit poem many years ago. Whenever I read it, I think that if I was to give up and quit something today, I will never know if all I needed was just one more day. Even through many struggles over time, I have learned the tide will turn. Struggling does not mean quitting. You might only need just one more day.
My family doesn’t know Christ. They are struggling with life, but still won’t turn to God for help. They argue, they worry, they try their own way, but still have no peace. It’s funny how in July I started the Bible reading plan, and so often the verses for the day speak to my heart. They remind me to be kind, giving, compassionate, and forgiving. They remind me to focus on being someone of strong character, because character produces hope. Hope and peace lead me not throw in the towel, not to give up, and to keep going until the tide turns. Sunday’s message brought tears to my eyes because I prayed that God would give me something just for me, that He would speak straight to me. He did. He reminded me that my situation is temporary, and being a Christian is work. Thank you Pastor Bob for making NP a place that touches my spirit.
I am believing along with you that your family will come to believe on Jesus as their God and Saviour. I think your character will have a lot of influence to bring them to their decision. Stay true. Be hopeful. You inspire me!
I love the image of the diggers…just one more shovelful, one more effort can mean the difference between turning away in discouragement and finding your fortune. Thanks Patricia.
Sometimes I feel very much that I am always swimming against the tide. Other times I feel as though I have been floating for hours and days but I have to remember something my Dad wrote in his bible: “It is not day by day or hour by hour but it is moment by moment that we must walk with our hand in the Lord’s.”
The one thing I have learned is that He never let’s go of your hand.
Thank you for the encouragement.
That’s a great heritage statement from your dad. Glad the post was encouraging for you and great to hear from you in this comment section, Carole.
Wanting to quit is always a temptation for me, that’s why I cling to the promises of God over my life, and having a clear vision of my purpose helps keep me running, also being a really stubborn person helps!
Sacred stubbornness is good. Thanks for checking in, Sarah.