An Interactive Bible Lesson for Friends and Family Day
March 30, 2014
Calvary Apostolic Church of Denver
SCRIPTURES: Luke 18:1-8; Galatians 6:9; II Thessalonians 3:13; Hebrews 12:1-3
Most of us have heard the quote: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Unfortunately, for many of us the reality is: “When the going gets rough, the ranks thin rapidly.”
Quitters! Everybody knows one, and we feel sorrow and sympathy for them, but nobody wants to be one. Someone once asked Paul Harvey, the journalist and radio commentator, to reveal the secret of his success, “I get up when I fall down,” Harvey said. Indeed, the difference between winners and losers is that the losers hit an obstacle and give up, while winners keep trying in spite of repeated failure.
In 1962, Victor and Mildred Goertzel published “Cradles of Eminence”—a revealing study of 413 famous and exceptionally gifted people. The Goertzel’s spent years trying to understand what produced such greatness—what common thread might run through all of these outstanding people’s lives. Surprisingly, the most outstanding fact was that virtually all of them, 392 to be exact, had to overcome very difficult obstacles in order to succeed.
Booker T. Washington was born in slavery; Thomas Edison was deaf. Abraham Lincoln was born of illiterate parents. Robert Louis Stevenson had tuberculosis. Louis Pasteur was so nearsighted that he had a difficult time finding his way in his laboratory without glasses. Then, there was Helen Keller, who could neither see nor hear, but who graduated with honors from a famous college. All these people had a good excuse why they could not succeed. Yet, in spite of the obstacles, they rose to greatness.
Will Rogers, the famous American humorist, accurately summed things up when he said, “You cannot defeat a man or woman who will not stay down.”
A pastor named Ronald Crandall once said this, “Are you a quitter? At one time or another, most of us have felt like quitting. I can honestly tell you while holding my infant son in my arms and watching him die, I felt utterly helpless. How could I minister effectively when my faith had been totally rocked? I was angry, hurt, and disappointed that all the dreams we had for our family had been destroyed in just five minutes. God, why me? I have preached all over the country for You— why did it have to be my son?” “The Lord began to speak to me in that still small voice, saying, ‘I love you, Ron. And, what the enemy meant for evil I will turn into a blessing—if you just don’t quit!’”
“I knew the voice, for I have heard Him before, but He just did not understand where I was at. I was broken and crushed, and He was asking me not to quit. I had never been in this place before. I have always preached He is the God of ‘I can.’ Despondent, now I was the one seeking some kind of strength. Every time I looked into my wife’s eyes, it seemed the pain was too much. This lesson of faith was more than I could bear.”
“A friend of mine had written a song for my baby’s funeral called, ‘My Strong Tower.’ As he sang that song, I suddenly realized that I was in need of a ‘strong tower’ because I was weak. The more he sang the more I cried, realizing that the same Gospel I have preached night after night was also for me—for me, for my wife, for my entire family.”
This Scripture began running through my spirit like water over rocks in a river. “Therefore, I will teach them—this time I will teach them My power and might. Then, they will know that My name is the LORD.” (Jer 16:21 NIV) “I found when we get the Word of God in our heart that we find the courage to face what is facing us and the will to carry on, for HE IS STILL GOD.”
“Teri and I have discovered that He is our God also, and that when you don’t quit—there is a blessing. God had given us David Matthew (whose name means beloved gift of God.) I will never forget the night that the enemy hit us hard. But, MY God is greater than the devil’s best hit. Christ’s love is deeper and far exceeds the natural man’s tendency to give up when faced with hardship. So, I challenge you like the LORD challenged me, ‘DON’T QUIT.’”
1. What makes people want to quit?
2. Tell of a time when you felt like quitting, but never actually quit. What did you learn from the experience?
3. When has Jesus been a “Strong Tower” in your life? Or, in what hopeless situation today do you need Him to be your “Strong Tower?”