I recently preached about perseverance. It was a difficult sermon to prepare and took a long time, but I stayed with it and it came out OK. Do you see what I did there? I had to persevere on my sermon about perseverance.
By definition, perseverance means persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. We are living in a time when everything seems more difficult and takes longer to do. Whether we are going to work, doing the marketing, attending church, dating, holding a marriage together, taking classes or writing a column for the newspaper, it seems perseverance is required. Because our world feels fragile and never more than a few steps from meltdown, it requires more effort to provide for families, have a positive outlook and maintain our relationships. But in the middle of extreme difficulties is not the time to surrender. I like what Elvis Presley said about that, “When things go wrong, don’t go with them.”
We’re all in a tough spot and under pressure from the virus, social unrest and political tension. We find ourselves asking “Where are you, God? How much longer will these things go on? When will we feel normal again?” Although we don’t know how long these issues will be with us, we do know that God is here. He has promised that he will not leave us or ever forsake us. With God’s help, we can push through! We can have victory! We can experience success! There can be healing for both body and mind. If we just don’t quit.
Perhaps Winston Churchill said it best, “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense.”
There is hope for a better tomorrow because God is with us. That hope will see us through the problems of today. And remember, if things are going wrong in your life, don’t go with them.
David Sandvick is the pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.