“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
II Corinthians 4:8, 9
Whoever started the rumor that the Christian life should be free from trouble knows little about the Bible. God never promised us a problem-free journey. From the words of Paul the apostle, who endured great suffering for the cause of the Savior, we find encouragement to persevere. Paul knew what it was to be persecuted, abandoned, misunderstood, and misrepresented. However, there is one thing he did not know. He knew nothing about quitting.
Jesus warned his closest followers that they would, as He did, have to face and endure hardships. It seems that many Christians in our present generation are not willing or prepared to suffer for our Lord. Unfortunately, false teachers are abundant. They preach a message contrary to the Bible, often implying that believers should be exempt from pressure and conflict. Such promises are not found in the Scripture. Paul understood that there would be afflictions, and that there was purpose in our problems. He took comfort and courage in the principle that through our persecutions and trials “the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
It is often in our most perplexing and demanding experiences that God’s grace and power is seen. Knowing this helps us endure whatever difficulties life may bring. Wherever our path leads us, and whatever challenges we face, God has promised to be with us. He will be there to support us, offering us wisdom and strength, and using each valley to further His work in us and through us. When the road is difficult and our resources are exhausted, faith will find a way to persevere. Quitting was not an option for the great apostle. He may have been knocked down, but he was not knocked out.
We should be thankful that quitting was never an option for our Savior. His commitment to Calvary was not dependent on either comfort or convenience. Let’s settle it in our minds today. With God as our Helper, and those who have gone before as our examples and encouragement, by grace we will not quit until the race is done.