On May 10, 1940, at age 65, the age most Americans are thinking about retiring, Winston Churchhill took the job of Prime Minister of the UK when there appeared to be little hope for Great Britain.
Two weeks later France would be crushed by the Germans and they would have complete control over all of Europe. There seemed to be little hope that Britain would not fall before their onslaught as well.
In one of his first speeches as Prime Minister Churchhill said, “. . . we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
On October 29,1941 to the boys at Harrow School, Churchill said, “Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
Great Britain faced a powerful, evil earthly enemy. Believers in Jesus face much more formidable spiritual powers, as well as living in a fallen world. And we are promised we will encounter trials of various kinds and warned to not be surprised when we suffer. Yet we are exhorted again and again to endure, as in Hebrews 10:36:
For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
Great Britain had no guarantee their endurance would pay off. But believers are guaranteed a great reward for their perseverance. We will be welcomed into heaven by our Master with “Well done, good and faithful servant.” We will be rewarded with the vision of the face of Jesus Christ and comforted as Jesus himself wipes away every tear from our eyes. We will sit down at the wedding feast of the Lamb and enjoy fellowship with our God and our family forever. We will be completely conformed to the likeness of Christ, and we’ll hear and join the heavenly multitudes in the song of the Lamb forever.
So don’t give up. Don’t give in. If you have fallen, confess your sin and Jesus will forgive and cleanse you of all unrighteousness. Then ask him for grace to get back up again and keep plowing ahead.
Imitate the endurance of Jesus, who endured the hostility of men and the agonly of cross by looking to the joy set before him (Heb 12:1-3).
Never give up. Never give in. Take up the full armor of God and stand. Don’t stop praying. Don’t quit serving. Don’t stop hoping. Our God is greater than any circumstance and any enemy and any failure. Nothing is too hard for our God. His arm is not too short to save. And the reward for endurance is greater than we can imagine.