Don't Quit!

I have been a little under the weather and so I have spent some time thinking about various things. One of which was a line from a poem from long ago.

Many years ago when I hit a rough patch in life my Mom gave me a little wallet-card with a poem on it entitled, “Don’t Quit.”  I lost the original, but picked up somewhere another along the way because the message on that little card made such an impact on me.

Don’t Quit
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.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.

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 slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
- Unknown Author

There is nothing overtly Scriptural about this poem, but as I ponder the lives of some of our Old Testament heroes like Elijah I can identify with his emotions as he was discouraged and ready to give up.  The Lord was not done with him and sent him on to minister anew (1 Kings 19).

Our New Testament heroes also had times of discouragement. I have said before that when Paul was bobbing a day and a night in the sea I would think he had times of wondering if he was finished (2 Cor. 11:23-28). Peter went back to fishing after his denial of Christ and the crucifixion, thinking he was washed up in ministry (John 21) until Jesus re-commissioned him.

Yet Peter is the Apostle who penned these words:

…seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  2 Peter 1:3-8 (NASB)

These times are normal and to be expected in our lives but take heart, we have been equipped to withstand times of discouragement through the precious promises of God!  God is glorified as we persevere through the tough times, being determined to fulfill our responsibilities in spite of how we feel emotionally. 

No, it is not always easy and in face it can be very hard to set discouragement aside and press on as you know you should. The benefit will be growth both in character and in spirit. In the process you will be useful and fruitful in the knowledge of Christ.

Quitting is easy. Persevering is honorable.