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Never Give Up

May 1, 2023

Do not let your hearts be troubled.” John 14:1

When faced with life’s challenges, we are often tempted to just give up—to stop trying.  During those difficult times we should remember Churchill’s words in 1941: “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”  His quote is often translated to today’s parlance: “Never, never, never, never give up.” Never give in to despair over your own anxieties and the challenges facing your loved ones.  Never give up when you or your loved ones are rejected. Never give up on those loved ones who have not accepted Jesus.  Never stop praying. 

This week’s Scripture lessons teach us to never give up when we are discouraged.[1] Jesus prepared his disciples for rejection and for what was to come: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14: 1).

 Peter reminds us of Psalm 118:22 in teaching how Jesus, the cornerstone, was rejected: “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. . .” (1 Peter 2: 7).  Likewise, Stephen faced many who did not believe, and who persecuted him for his preaching of the gospel. He said to them: “You always resist the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 7: 51).   But he continued teaching and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified even when faced with death for his beliefs. 

Paul, then known by his Hebrew name, Saul, witnessed Stephen’s stoning: “And Saul was there giving approval to his death” (Acts 8: 60b).  Paul, who later became a pillar of the fledgling church, was at that time persecuting Christians. He is a prime example that God can reach out and change anyone—even a murderous enemy.  Never, never, never, never give up on those you love. 

Centuries ago, a mother prayed for many years for her wayward son who had rejected the things of God.  She was Monica, whose son, Augustine, became the Bishop of Hippo and was one of the greatest theologians of all time.  Pray that God will comfort, heal, and lead your loved ones to faith. 

Next week’s Scripture texts are a reminder to never, never, never, never give up on God—never underestimate what he can do. 

Prayer: “Eternal God, who are the light of the minds that know you, the joy of the hearts that love you, and the strength of the wills that serve you; grant us so to know you that we may truly love you, and so to love you that we may fully serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom, in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen”  St. Augustine of Hippo

Diane Cieslikowski Reagan

[1] The Scripture texts for the 5th Sunday of Easter are Acts 6:1-9; 7:2a; 51-60; Psalm 146; 1 Peter 2:2-10; John 14: 1-14. 

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