Don't Give Up
"Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing." –James 1:2-4
Once at a softball clinic for elementary-aged softball players, I shared how my accomplishments have not come because I was naturally great, but because I worked hard and didn’t give up. I implored them to do the same: Don’t give up. We shouted it a few times, then began working on skills. As I worked with the pitchers, one girl began complaining about the afternoon heat. I reminded her about our previous talk. She replied, “Yeah, but that was when I was sitting in the shade.” I humbly realized I was just like this little girl. How often do my intentions differ from my actions when things get difficult? We talk and believe big from the comfort of the shade; yet when things get hard, we retreat. That is not where our blessings and dreams are found. They are found when we persevere.
Trials tempt us to give up. In fact, the Greek root word of trials is the same as tempt. James knew this, but he also knew that the blessing that comes from perseverance is eternal. Thus, he encourages us not to just make it by, but to take joy in trials. Blessings and rewards are not found without a struggle; so don’t give up in the midst of difficulty. Our dreams are found not sitting in the shade, but working in the sun.
1. What dream are you pursuing?
2. When are you tempted to give up?
3. How can you let the words of James encourage you to persevere?
Philippians 1:27-30; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:2; Hebrews 10:35
God, I don’t want to give up. I want to count it joy when I face trials, because I know perseverance is produced. Thank You for never giving up on me. Amen.