Luke 8:40-42, 49-56.

PART TWO

There are no hopeless cases with God.

More than twenty years ago man coldly, callously murdered his wife. He took a bow and five steel-tipped arrows and slaughtered her. No question about it, no argument. He was sent to prison, and most of us would have said he was lost and hopeless. But something happened in that prison; inside those walls of despair he met the get-up Christ and became a believer. And soon after that, he felt called to preach. Now some were skeptical; some thought it was all a trick. A murderer would never be accepted as a preacher of the Gospel’

But, praise God, his church didn’t give up on him. They gave him books, they sent him tutors, they believed in him. And today Vaughn Booker is the spirit-filled pastor of a church in Virginia. No, don’t give up; don’t give up on anybody. You never know when Christ will turn it into a get up.

Even today, there is somebody reading this who feels defeated. There’s somebody who has quit trying to feel halfway decent about herself. There is somebody who is carrying a burden for some child, some spouse, and you think, “It’s no use, he’ll never change.” There is somebody who has prayed and prayed and hoped and hoped, but today you’re on the very edge of giving up. Last week was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Last night you said, “I can’t take it anymore. I quit.”When Jesus heard you, he replied, “Do not fear. Only believe, and you will be saved.” Child, don’t give up. Get up. To God be the glory, great things He hath done and greater things shall you yet see.

Never Give Up…Many of us quit, half way through with what we have started and we have enough reasons why we do it. Galatians 6:9 “…for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”What does it mean? The scripture tells us that if we do not give up, we will surely see the reward of it. For example the farmer sows his seed and takes the little grown stuff and plants it in the properly ploughed field. He does not see the grains immediately, he waits for the rain and the shine at the proper times and then a harvest, during harvest it is not what he sowed but several measures more than what he had sown. If this is true for a farmer I am sure the same principle applies for us too. The only thing is to wait patiently until we see results.

Below are a few reasons why we quit. The reasons can be so many but I have tried listing few of them…

1.            Fear of failure.

2.            Skepticism I am not the one.

3.            I am not trained enough.

4.            Someone can do it better than me.

5.            I don’t want to be the first, let someone do it and then I will follow.

6.            I have a bitter past experience.

7.            This is not my cup of tea.

8.            I don’t want to be embarrassed.

9.            I am too sensitive to handle failures.

10.         My support system is poor.

11.         I don’t prefer to risk when all is fine.

12.         Why get into a mess?

Some of the reasons are overlapping but still this is how we feel and reason out to quit and remain a bit satisfied though we know we can do it more than we have tried. Let me quote few people and their views on never giving up…

·              Marilyn von Savant – “being defeated is often temporary, giving up makes it permanent.”

·              Thomas Edison – “many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

·              King Solomon – “for an upright man, after falling seven times, will get up again.” (Proverbs 24:16)

Joseph refused to Give Up, Genesis 39:13-40:23. The righteous don’t give up on God, because they know that God hasn’t given up on them. The righteous rescue broken lives by refusing… the temptation to GIVE IN the temptation to GIVE UP the temptation to GET EVEN. God was with Joseph (Genesis 39:2, 21, 23).  Psalm 139:7-10 says: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Matthew 28:18-20, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Joseph stayed faithful. He cared for others (Genesis 40:6-8). He served the Lord (40:9-41:36).

St. Paul writes in Philippians 3:13, “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”If you have to march forward, you have to forget about what happened in the past. If we brood over the past more either success or failure it can ruin us. If we brag about the past success it will makes us complacent and would never make new attempts at the same time if we brood over our failures it will diminish the morale and the potential we possess. Therefore it is important to be moving and not stagnating.

Paul understood this and that is why he is going ahead with the goal and not worried over the past. If Paul had to think of his past as wretched man he will have been ashamed for the rest of his life not doing anything. He overcame the shame and guilt of destroying so many good Christians and began to be a blessing. He never gave up but carried on.

Dear friends, how about you? Better wise up, make the most of every opportunity. Never leave room for compromise, March forward don’t retreat. I think of Henry ford, his first car was not able to even go faster than the horse chariot, he never gave up and today these cars do well. The Wright brothers first flying machine fell and broke after it took off to few feet but they never gave up and today we see planes that fly at a phenomenal speed at great altitudes. We have Jesus on our side we will surely be conquerors, not just conquerors but more than conquerors. God bless you.