Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
Roy “Wrong Way” Riegels is known for running a fumble the wrong way in the 1929 Rose Bowl. His error cost his team the victory. Roy was devastated. He sat in the corner of the locker room at half time with a towel over his head and cried. But his coach made him get back in the game and he played the second half at such a high level of intensity that his teammates voted him captain of the team for the next year. Roy didn’t quit.
Americans seem to have a real love for the underdog, the upset victory, the big come from behind victory. I think that’s because we can identify with them and we love a good ending. We fantasize that the same thing will happen in our life. That’s why movies like Invincible and Facing the Giants have been so popular. In the first movie, an average citizen tries out for the Eagles, makes the team, and contributes to their victories. The later is about a high school team that goes from perennial losers to state champs. We love them because the underdog doesn’t quit and so ends up winning.
It’s easy to quit in the Christian life, as well. It’s often tempting to not suit up, get in the game, play our position and stay tough despite the hits and hardships. Discouragement is one of the enemy’s biggest tools against us. But God blesses us when we persevere and stay faithful.
To persevere without quitting takes strength and endurance. Physically, athletes need a healthy diet, good rest and proper training. The same is true for us spiritually. Spiritual junk food may make us feel good for a moment, but its only when we nourish ourselves in His Word that we will be strong enough to endure and not quit.
We also need proper rest – peace that comes only from God. When we are tired, stressed and frustrated we can easily become discouraged and want to quit. Then we can persevere in prayer, Bible reading and holy living. We can keep going when it is hard to reach out to others, forgive those who hurt us and love those who aren’t easy to love.
So put on the uniform God provides, get in the game and don’t quit no matter how tough it gets. Even if it seems you’re losing and a comeback seems impossible, remember you’re the victor in Jesus. Talk about a great comeback! Imagine being nailed to a cross and hit with the eternal hell punishment for every sin ever committed? Who would have thought He’d win? But He did. What an upset! What a comeback! What a great ending! Because of His victory we are victors as well. So don’t quit no matter what. He didn’t quit on you, don’t quit on Him.
Hebrews 12:1-3, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
James 5:10-11, “Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
2 Timothy 2:3, “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”
- Do you spend quality time each day connecting with God, talking to Him as well as listening to Him, and studying His Word?
- What usually gets you discouraged quickest? (The enemy knows, so you better know as well.) What can you do about it?
- Think of someone you know who is discouraged and out of the game. What can you do today to help them?
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on February 9, 2009