Never Give Up
Perseverance: One of the chief tenets of being a Christian is keeping the faith and persevering until the end. “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” — Hebrews 6:11. Being able to persevere is characteristic that you must refine. Perseverance is the ability to grind out the rough times to achieve the end goal. You cannot realize any success in life unless you are willing to walk through the dark valleys and press on until the end. True perseverance is also not stubbornness. Stubbornness doesn’t learn or listen, it just plows ahead and usually leads to ruin. When comparing perseverance vs stubbornness it is best thought of this way: Stubbornness tries to justify and prove oneself correct, while perseverance simply tries to accomplish the end goal detached from pride. So, persevere to the end for great is your reward.
Optimism: Without optimism, quitting is a virtual certainty. The war in your mind is the first you need to conquer. If you are already defeated psychologically, then that will carry over to every action you set out to accomplish. People who tend to think the worst — usually get it. Christ Jesus constantly told those who followed him, “Do not let your heart be troubled,” He rebuked worry, but cheered faith. Likewise, if you maintain an attitude of optimism and faith, you will see many of your goals accomplished. As Christians, our optimism isn’t set in our own abilities, but rather, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Optimism from a Christian perspective places our hope and deliverance in the Lord our God and echoes words of Psalm 27: 1-3 “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries, and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident.”
Quitting Before Starting: Many times, people think that having dream, plan or direction is accomplishment enough. It’s not. You will be known by your actions. You can talk and talk, but if you never act, your words are just wind. So, don’t expect great things if you are unwilling to apply the action to your words. Quitting doesn’t just apply to the person who gives up after a failure, but more so to the person who is too afraid to take the first step. That person quits before they even start.
Breaking Point: Giving up happens because a person hits their breaking point. In the Navy SEAL BUD/S selection, candidates go through a grueling training course designed to test the limits of a person physically and mentally. The BUD/S selection has an attrition rate of 75-80% and is one of the hardest military programs to complete. When former SEAL, Stew Smith talks about surviving BUD/S selection, he says, “Never quit, and that’s the biggest thing. Just don’t quit. And that’s tough, it’s easier said than done. They’re gonna keep pushing you, and you’ll make it through so long as you’re not quitting.” Smith goes on to say, “You need to know what playing with pain is like. One of my favorite terms is ‘getting comfortable being uncomfortable,’ because when you’re going through SEAL training you’re gonna be wet and sandy all day long. But eventually, you’ll get so used to being wet, sandy, and uncomfortable that when you’re not, it feels strange.” One key point with the extreme SEAL training is the emphasis on taking a person to their limits to see if they have the mental toughness not to quit. This is effective testing because they are finding candidates who won’t break under pressure — especially when that pressure will be in future combat situations. Now, you might not be facing a grueling Navy SEAL selection course, but there is some challenge or goal you’d like to conquer. So, with that in mind, don’t fear challenging experiences, but realize that those experiences will only make you stronger. Just don’t quit. For with each new challenge you pass, you will gain confidence in dealing with similar situations in the future. A good biblical example of this is when David was questioned by King Saul about his ability to fight Goliath. David had faced a similar situation in his past and recounted the story to King Saul with these words, “Your servant (David) was tending his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him.Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God. And David said, ‘The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’ And Saul said to David, ‘Go, and may the LORD be with you.’” — 1 Samuel 17:34-37. In this scripture, we see David recalling how the Lord had delivered him from the lion and the bear and David says in so many words — this time will be no different, for God is with me. That’s a powerful example of faith and using past experiences to recall that God is with you. Likewise, when things look difficult, you would do well to remember how God got you through past situations and take faith that He will get you through this one as well.
God With Us: There is no great source of power in the universe than the power of Holy Spirit inside of you. David, Moses, Paul and the mighty men of the Bible all knew this and spoke confidently to this fact. Remember, you and God makes a majority and the power of the Holy Spirit inside of you can defeat any attack of the enemy. Meditate on that truth and let it flow out through your words. Stand upon the promises of God and know that He is with you, now and forever. Once this becomes true in your life it makes it impossible to give up. “If God is for us, who is against us?” — Romans 8:31.
Tim and Will