Never Give Up

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. –Philippians 1:6

In 1491 Christopher Columbus was 40 (that was old back then!), broke and homeless. Christopher Columbus was an outstanding sea captain–but nobody took very seriously his idea of sailing west in hopes of discovering a new route to the West Indies. Nonetheless, Columbus didn’t give up.

He once wrote, “Our Lord made me skilled in seamanship, equipped me with the sciences of astronomy, geometry, and arithmetic, and taught my mind and hand to draw this sphere… then our Lord revealed to me that it was feasible to sail from here to the Indies and placed in me a burning desire to carry out this plan.”

Five centuries ago people had a map that reflected their understanding of the world at that time. It wasn’t changed until the courageous Columbus challenged conventional wisdom by sailing to the West Indies. His “never give up” attitude resulted in one of the most significant breakthroughs in world history.

Winston Churchill (the great political statesman of Great Britain) was once invited to speak to his alma mater. Churchill, by then one of the most famous men in the world and also one of the world’s greatest orators, had done very poorly at this school.

He approached the podium. All the boys were sitting up straight, totally quiet, waiting for great words of wisdom. Churchill stood behind the podium looking in the eyes of each boy. Then he quietly said, “Never give up.” He stared at them again and shouted “Never give up.” He pounded the podium and at the top of his voice he screamed, “Never, never, never give up!”* Winston Churchill then sat down. His speech was made up of just one piece of advice: Never give up.

I’m not sure what exactly you are going through, but this I know: the people who make a difference in the world, and in their own lives never give up.

1. How does Philippians 1:6 relate to your own life?

2. What is an example you know of someone who has never given up?

Psalm 117

*Winston Churchill, quoted in Sherwood Elliot Wirt and Kersten Beckstron, Topical Encyclopedia of Living Quotations (C) Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001. Use by permission.

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the president of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 20 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord, which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage, Closer, and Doing Life with Your Adult Children. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; three sons-in-law, Steve and Matt, and Andy; and three grandchildren, James, Charlotte and Huxley.

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