Never Give Up
Jan 2, 2014 1853
It is one thing to told to ‘man up’, to screw your courage to the sticking place, to march into the fray with fist aloft and defiant. Yet what would be the point of this bravado if, in the end, it all came to nothing? What if all the difficulties and challenges for which I steel myself ended up overwhelming me? What if those attributes of courage, stamina, fortitude, persistence and integrity end up availing nothing?
The Christian answer is that the struggle for principle, the courageous stand for an ideal is carried on in a context which renders it utterly worthwhile: a universe that is not indifferent to moral striving. On the contrary, it appears to have been designed to require and to invite it.
That is why values such as patience, gallantry, kindness and forbearance only come to light in adverse circumstances. Qualities that win our respect such as daring, grit, resolve and tenacity require danger or duress in order to shine. God has permitted an environment in which such virtues are able to flourish. What flat, cardboard cut-out, immature and shallow creatures we would be if there were no burdens to carry, no causes to fight for, no battles to be won.
Our world not only provides us with a workshop for moral development, it is a world in which there is grace. We are called to grow as persons in a setting which is sympathetic to that end. There is a God who is patient, merciful, forgiving, tender-hearted and loving. Since this is so there are no duties beckoning, no responsibilities weighing which represent too great a risk or too large a sacrifice. It is entirely possible (nay, probable) that I will make mistakes and fail often. But this will never be a reason to give up. There will always be the strongest of reasons to try again. If Jesus Christ is Lord, grace reigns. And where there is grace there is life and hope.
“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus”(2 Timothy 2:1).