Hang in There

If you ever felt like quitting, remember that the Apostle Paul felt that way also. In a very personal letter to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 1:1-11), he bares his soul about certain things. Things like hardships, deprivation, imprisonment, the unremitting opposition he faced—so much so, that he concluded what he was going through wasn’t just for him. God is doing something in him for the benefit of others. In this letter, he reveals the secret of a faith that finishes strong. He shows us how God gives us strength, even when we feel as if we can’t go on.

Actually, we never suffer by ourselves. There is always someone looking on. People watch to see how we respond in times of sadness and pain. Some may even be unbelievers who wonder if the Christ we serve is for real. They watch to see how we react to malicious gossip and accusations, mistreatment, a job loss, a career setback, or a financial flop.

Our afflictions soften and prepare our hearts so that when we receive the comfort of God, it is easy for us to comfort others. He allows us to endure the fires of affliction, but never leaves us in the fire. He encourages us to hang in there and never give up.

In The Ministry of Healing, p. 471, Ellen White writes: “Trials and obstacles are the Lord’s chosen method of discipline and His appointed conditions of success. . . . The fact that we are called upon to endure trial shows that the Lord Jesus sees in us something precious which He desires to develop. . . . He does not cast worthless stones into his furnace.”

There is Someone who modeled for us the ultimate notion of what it means to “hang in there.” He who controls the universe never gave up on the cross. He came to finish what He came to do. You, too, can find your inspiration in the Man who kept His word.

When people from His own hometown tried to push Him over a cliff, He didn’t give up. When Peter worshiped Him at the last supper and denied Him at the warming fire, He didn’t give up. When people spat in His face, He didn’t spit back. And when the whip ripped open His back, He didn’t command His angels to strike the soldiers dead.

And when they fastened the hands of the only innocent One to a cross with spikes, it wasn’t the soldiers who held them steady, it was the hand of His Father that held His hands steady! Those wounded hands are the same invisible hands that carry you through the toughest of times.

The hands from which blood flowed at Calvary will reach down over and over again—as many times as it takes—to pick you up when you are knocked down and are tempted to give up.

So the next time you feel like quitting and bad news fragments your day, take a hike up Calvary’s hill where—

There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.

E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.

That blood is from the same hands that wrote you a promise—“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”—John 3:16.

That’s why you’ve got to hang in there!

Donald G. King is president of the Atlantic Union Conference and chairman of the Atlantic Union College Board of Trustees.