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Devotionals 2011 - 2012

Not Giving Up
February 20, 2012 By Ed Wrather


And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart (give up - NIV). Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. - Galatians 6:9-10 NKJV.

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart (give up - NIV). - Luke 18:1 NKJV.

Robert "Choc" Thornton has had a few injuries during his career. At the age of 33-years, he has already been injured from 367 falls. During his career, he has had all of his ribs broken, lost several teeth, nine times his collar bone has been shattered, and he has experienced torn ligaments and tendons. What kind of job does Thornton have? He is a National Hunt jockey. According to Wikipedia, National Hunt Racing "is the official name given to the sport of horse racing in the United Kingdom, France and Ireland in which the horses are required to jump over obstacles called hurdles or fences." Because of his injuries, Thornton has temporarily had to stop racing 42 times, and is currently in one of those racing delays with a broken arm. Thornton commented on his injuries by saying, "I haven't thought about giving up, and the day I do will be the day I retire. You can't ride with thoughts like that in your head." (Orange News 02.16.12)

If there were a hall of fame for the toughest people who ever lived, Choc Thornton ought to be in there somewhere. Because Choc has proven his toughness. I think that the apostle Paul ought to be near the top of the list, and at the very top of the list should be Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul endured being stoned, whipped, shipwrecked, snakebitten, imprisoned, and more; but he never gave up. Jesus endured the ultimate in physical punishment with a Roman scourging, the crown of thorns, carrying of his cross, and finally execution on a Roman cross. Jesus endured it all even though He could have called legions of angels to come to His aid. Jesus endured it to the end. He endured it until He could cry out from the cross "It is finished." Jesus not only bore the physical pain, but he also bore the sins of all people past, present, and future to become the "once for all" sacrifice (Hebrews 7:26-27).

It is possible to endure great physical pain and emotional torment without giving up. It has been done before. In addition to those already mentioned, we are given the roll call of the heroes of the faith in Hebrews chapter 11. Those men and women of God remained faithful to the end. They had their hearts and minds set on being faithful; they were not giving up.

Jesus gives us instruction about how to keep from giving up in Luke 18, "Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart (give up - NIV)." Why do we want to pray when we are thinking of giving up? Because Jesus can help us. We are told this in Hebrews 2:18 NKJV, "For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted." The Amplified Bible translates Hebrews 2:18 in this way, "For because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able [immediately] to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted and tested and tried [and who therefore are being exposed to suffering]." Jesus "is able" to help you when you are thinking of giving up. He will "run" to your "cry" for help. However, we need to remember the instruction of Jesus in Luke 18. We must remember to ask for His help, and not give up on asking for His help.

Let us live life confidently knowing that whatever we may face, whatever comes our way, we can be faithful to the end. Jesus will give us all that we need (Romans 8:32) so that there will never be a need for us to give up.

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