Jeff Long: Never give up

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ever hear the expressions: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” or “when you get to the end of your rope, tie a not in it and hang on”? These are just a few of the sayings used to say, never give up. There are many stories in the Bible telling of people who didn’t give up but rather followed God’s word and prospered.

A man named Abram and his wife Sarai, are told about in Genesis 16:1, “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife bear him no children.” They didn’t lose faith and God promised them a child in their latter years. I’m not sure if Abraham gave up but I know God didn’t. It states in Genesis 17:17, “Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said in his heart, shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah that is 90 years old, bear?” God answered Abraham in Genesis 21:2, “For Sarah conceived and bear Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoke unto him.” If everyone involved had given up or lost faith, this couple would probably not have prospered with the birth of a son named Isaac, who became heir of all that Abraham had.

Then we had Jacob’s son Joseph, whose brothers sold him into slavery; Gen 37:27, “Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his bretheren were content.” After many years Joseph became a powerful governor in Egypt who was over the entire land’s food supply. This in turn led to saving his brothers form starvation due to the famine throughout the land; Gen 41:57, “And all countries came into Egypt unto Joseph to buy corn; because the famine was so sore in all lands.” You see Joseph didn’t give up or lose faith, instead he persevered and saved not only many throughout the land but the ones who betrayed him which were his brothers.

We also have Moses, who in Exodus chapters three and four is commissioned by God to guide His people the Israelites out of Egypt, thus out of slavery. His first challenge was to gain the trust of the Israelites so that they would want to follow him. Then the trials and contests started with the Pharaoh trying to get him to release the Israelites. There were ten contests in total. The final one taking the lives of all the first born of living creatures both animals and non-believing humans, Pharaoh released the Israelites as told in Exodus 12:31 and 32, “And he (Pharaoh) called for Moses and Aaron by night and said, rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.” Moses never gave up, instead he gained strength and came out victorious for all God’s people.

These are all stories from the Bible but I have a more recent event. My Pastor visited me regularity for 15 years. He told me about God and he said, “I never saw the expression on his face change, then in God’s time he accepted Christ and now we can’t get him to shut up.”

So when you feel like giving up on something because of the challenge, remember the devil looks for our weaknesses. This is stated in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”Keep your faith and you too can come out prosperous as long as you are guided by the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This is accomplished by admitting that you are a sinner, asking for God’s forgiveness, and accepting the Holy Spirit which comes from believing in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Then fellowship with God through His word, the Holy Bible, and personal prayer time. You’ll find out that the knot at the end of your rope is Jesus Christ our Savior. God bless all.

Jeff Long lives in Salisbury.

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