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'Don't Ever Give Up'

“But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’”

John 6:68

If you’re a sports fan, you know the name Jim Valvano. He was the men’s basketball coach at North Carolina State for 10 years, and led the Wolfpack to the national championship in 1983. Ten years later, Valvano lost his battle to cancer, dying at the age of 47. But before he passed away, Valvano made a memorable speech at the ESPYs, which included his famous words: “Don’t give up...don’t ever give up.”

Have you ever reached the point, though, where you felt like giving up? Have you ever said, “What’s the point?” And perhaps, you’ve thought things would be better off without God in your life. Well, your life wouldn’t be better off without God. Why? Consider these four reasons:

God can help you and will help you—Heb. 13:5 contains one of the most emphatic statements in scripture: “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” As a faithful Christian, I can lay my head on my pillow each night in peace. We can have assurance that God will take care of us (Matt. 6:25-34).

Our faith will be made stronger—Believe it or not, there’s good that comes out of our trials and tribulations (James 1:2-4). The early Christians’ response to persecution set a precedent for us all (Acts 5:41). We may not realize it at that moment, but God assures us it will have a positive impact on us (Matt. 5:12).

The example of others and our example to others—We know Jesus is the ultimate example for us (Heb. 12:1-2), but consider all of the other examples found in Heb. 11. What did they have in common? “By faith.” But let’s not forget about our own example (I Cor. 11:1; Eph. 5:1). What do others see in me? More importantly, what do others see in me that we should want them to imitate?

If we choose to give up, the devil wins—We know who wins the war (Gen. 3:15). But Satan can still win battles. And he wins the battle if we choose to quit. Life is not better under Satan, nor is it better with Satan.

As Christians, we have the best of both worlds. We enjoy a relationship with God here on earth, knowing that eternity awaits us as our reward when this life is over. The Christian life is the best life. Don’t ever give up.

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