And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, IF we faint not. Galatians 6:9.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. II Timothy 4:7,8.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're traveling seems all uphill;
When the funds are low and the debts are high--
When 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 everyone 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!

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tints of the clouds of doubt;
And you can never 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 mustn't quit!

Author Unknown

Be Not Weary
One of the easiest things for any of us to do when it seems like nothing is "going our way", is for us to just give up and QUIT. That's right: just "throw up our hands" and walk away. At the time, it seems the easiest way out, I know. And all the while, we will be telling ourselves, "It's the thing to do. I have all the reason in the world to quit. I'm justified in my actions."

Moreover, the enemy of our soul will be there, ever ready to pat us on the back and "console" us with, "You have good excuse to quit. There are already enough hypocrites in the world. You don't want to be one, too!" Or he will try with, "Look at all those prospering around you--they aren't living right, but they aren't doing without all that you are. So you must be doing something wrong. You've tried and tried and just cannot live it--you cannot make the standard. Just give it up and have some peace."

The one thing "giving up" will NOT give you is peace. The decision to "quit" or "give up" will gnaw at you and haunt you for many long years to come. You will be plagued with "what might have been". Certainly there are those times in our lives when we truly have given our best effort, and still don't attain that which we sought, but there's a world of difference in having done our ALL and in having simply lost by default, giving up!

Nearly all of us have seen someone training for a race, or some other "olympic" event. One does not simply "walk off the street" and into such competition: it takes years and years of dedicated commitment to train the mind and body for such a trial of endurance. It takes struggle, self-discipline, restraint and bodily pain to even qualify for entrance. Yet such events are earthly and there can only be one winner. Our spiritual race is one in which we are running for an incorruptible prize and it is not limited to only ONE winner.

However, just as in earthly events, those who "quit" or "throw up their hands and quit" do not have a chance to win. If we are going to make it, we must ENDURE to the END. It takes GREAT effort to be a winner. As our scripture text said, And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, IF we faint not. Paul wanted those he was addressing in his letter to the Galatians to know he realized the struggles they would sometimes face--they might even get tired of "living right". However, he wanted to admonish them to "keep on keeping on" for God: he wanted them to "stick with it" and keep on sowing the precious Word that they might reap spiritual blessings.

Heroes Of Faith
There are several who easily come to mind when we think of those who "stuck it out", stayed with God. They are all members of the Who's Who of Faith: Noah, Abraham, Moses, Job, Daniel, Stephen, Peter, John, Paul and Jesus. Yes, even Jesus--the Word of God records how He, Himself, said, Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? Despite the indescribeable agony He suffered, He "stuck it out", He "followed through" so that our Heavenly Father might be glorified and God's perfect plan of salvation might be completed for all who will accept it!

And look at ole' Noah. Don't you know he was the "laughingstock of the community"? There had never been any such thing as a "flood", but there he was, building a great ark on DRY land. Who had ever heard of such a thing? And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. ...Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. Genesis 6:5-9.

Jesus, Himself, spoke of Noah: But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:36-39. Is that not similar to our own world of today? People are eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage with far too little, if any at all, regard for God. We live in such a deceptive age: folks see no need for God in their lives. We are so caught up in providing ourselves with material securities that we have neglected, left off or totally abandoned, our ETERNAL security!

One In A Million
Too often, there is only one time when people can serve God: when they are in trouble. Oh oh! That will get stuck in our "craw" for sure, won't it? But it's a fact: we live from "crisis to crisis"--we treat God as a lawyer or santa claus: "Well, God, if you'll get me out of this _______________ , I'll do such and such." And for a time, we keep our word, but only for a time. We ask God to help us get a good job, or a nice home. Then when we are established, we get independent: we don't need God any more, that is, until the next crisis rolls through!

From the very "git go", we've got it all backwards: ALL through the Word of God, it is If You, THEN God. But no, we don't want it that way: we want it OUR way. But our way is WRONG! Oh folks don't like that, let me tell you. "Why that's attaching conditions to God's Love!" The WORLD talks about "unconditional love" and yet it doesn't even have a clue. How foolish! God's Love IS conditional: sure, it's there for everyone, but we must personally, individually, accept it in order for it to work in our lives! We need to get back to the Voice of God through His Written Word to us and STOP listening to the voices of this world! We want the promises without the precepts!

Those who serve God only in the good times, or only when they need something from Him, will NOT endure. The Word of God tells us in Matthew 24:11-13, ...Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Instead of us letting God be our "steering wheel", we use Him as a "spare tire".

Unlike those who "quit", "drop out", "give up", Noah served God through all the adversity he faced. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. Hebrews 11:7. The warning from God stirred Noah, awakening him to the terrible destruction that was imminent. II Peter 2:5 tells us that Noah was a "preacher of righteousness". Noah stood against "the world": he had never seen a flood, either, but God said there was going to be one and by faith, Noah believed the Word of God. No one gave him any encouragement--there were no preachers or deacons or presbyters or superintendents to come by and give him an old "atta boy" on the shoulder! Had there been newspapers in those days, can't you just see the headlines: "Village Idiot Builds Ark On Dry Land".

We think we have it so bad when the pastor doesn't call or come by every time we miss a service. We think it's terrible that we have to pay a bill (of our own making) and can't buy that new dress to top the one Sister So and So had on last Sunday. Oh the burdens we have to bear when our children get in trouble at school (because we didn't apply any discipline at home). No wonder we cave in when we hit a bit of corduroy road! Just let someone ridicule us a bit and there we are, hands in the air: "I quit!" Just let God not give us that new car we wanted and there we are: "God, You don't love me any more! I quit!" Genesis 6:22 tells us, Thus did Noah; according to ALL that God commanded him, so did he. Noah followed the Lord's leading, despite what the sky looked like, despite what those about him said, despite what he had experienced (or not--he had never seen a flood before) in his lifetime.

  
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