we get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. 2 Corinthians 4:9 (NLT).
George Danzig was a senior at Stanford University during the Depression. All the seniors knew they’d be joining unemployment lines when the class graduated. There was a slim chance that the top person in the class might get a teaching job. Danzig was not at the head of his class, but he hoped that if he were able to achieve a perfect score on the final exam, he might be given a job.
Danzig studied so hard for the exam that he arrived late for the exam. When he got to class, the others were already hard at work. Embarrassed, he picked up his paper and slunk to his desk. He sat down and worked the eight problems on the test paper; then started on the two written on the board. Try as he might, he couldn’t solve either of them. He was devastated. Out of ten problems, he had missed two for sure. But just as he was about to hand in the paper, he took a chance and asked the professor if he could have a couple of days to work on the two he’d missed. He was surprised when his professor agreed.
Danzig rushed home and plunged into the questions with a vengeance. He spent hours and hours, but he could find the solution for only one of them. He just couldn’t solve the other. It was impossible. When he turned in the test, he knew he’d lost all chance of a job. It was the darkest moment of his life.
The next morning a pounding on the door awakened Danzig. It was his mathematics professor. He was very excited. “George! George!” he kept shouting, “You’ve made mathematics history!” Danzig didn’t know what his professor was talking about. The professor explained: Before the exam he’d encouraged the class to keep trying despite setback and failure. “Don’t be discouraged,” he’d counselled. Remember, there are classic problems that no one can solve. Even Einstein was unable to unlock their secrets.” He then wrote two of those problems on the blackboard.
Danzig had come to class late and missed those opening remarks. He didn’t know the problems on the board were impossible to solve. He thought they were part of his exam and was determined to solve them. And he solved one! He did the impossible.
That very morning the professor made George Danzig his assistant and he got to teach at Stanford until his retirement.
Perseverance … toughing it out … staying the course … the tenacity to keep going when the odds are stacked against you. Are you feeling exhausted? Is there no get up and go left in you? Do you feel like giving up? Are you demoralized? Persevere.
In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 Paul says, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going” (NLT).
There’ve been times in my life when I wondered whether I should get out of bed. Times when I’ve been emotionally battered and bruised. Times when I’ve been absolutely drained – spent – not an ounce of energy left in me. Times when I’ve felt exposed and vulnerable. And times when I’ve felt like no one understood and maybe no one really cared. But despite the vicissitudes, afflictions and snubs of life, God continues to give me the strength to stay the course.
Life isn’t an easy ride – but God’s there for you. He’ll give you power and passion to persevere to the end. But before God will do His part, you must do your part. Make Christ the Lord of your life. “Put into action God’s saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear” Philippians 2:12 (NLT).
Do your part and God will do His. It’s a win-win proposition. If you make Christ the Lord of your life “I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again” Philippians 1:6 (NLT).
So hold up your end and God will hold up His. Obey “God with deep reverence and fear” and He’ll help you persevere.