• Jon Forrest

Never Give up!


The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

Never Give Up!


There’s a famous cartoon of pelican struggling to eat a frog for dinner. His dinner does not agree with him. The frog’s head, shoulders, and most of his body are in the pelican’s beak. His back legs are outside, kicking for all they’re worth. His front legs stick out from both sides of the pelican’s beak. His hands are choking the pelican. You’re right! Frogs don’t have hands but the one in this cartoon does. The caption on the cartoon reads, “Never give up.”

Baseball legend, Lou Gehrig’s was called the "Iron Horse." When doctors x-rayed his hands, they discovered seventeen fractures that had healed, but had never been treated. His bones were broken, but not his spirit. His 2,130 consecutive games played became a record for 56 years until Cal Ripken, Jr, exceeded it in 1995.

His consecutive game streak might have remained a record if not for the second event proving he was flesh and blood, not iron. Eight games into the 1939 season he retired because he contracted ALS, the degenerative disease that now bears his name. Had it not been for that disease, who knows how many hundred more games he would have played?

Lou Gehrig was the first American Leaguer to hit four home runs in a game. He holds the record for career grand slams. His jersey, #4, was the first number ever retired in American professional sports.

It may come as a surprise to you that, as a player in his youth, Lou had a teammate who was so frustrated with Lou’s mistakes on the field which had cost the team yet another game, encouraged him to quit; to give up the sport. But Lou didn’t quit. He never gave up.

The frog’s key to survival and Lou Gehrig’s key to success was, in a word, "persistence." Never give up.

In the first chapter of Peter’s first letter, we are told how that the resurrection of Jesus Christ brings powerful hope. Troubles challenge that hope every day.

At this very moment our hope is faced with an all-out frontal attack by the fearful, still mysterious, COVID-19 corona virus that has spread all over the world and a is sweeping across the United States like a wild-fire. It has shutdown all spectator sports, movie theaters, schools, restaurants, church services and great gatherings of crowds everywhere, forcing millions of people into the dreaded hermit lifestyle of isolation. It has hospitalized multitudes and taken thousands of lives, intimidating heads of state and many people around the world. Some have been tempted to give up the "SHIP OF LIFE."

Peter writes, “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials, These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” – 1 Peter 1:6-7

When Jesus was crucified it looked as if all hope had been lost. It appeared that he had failed in his ministry and it was time to give up. However, God wasn’t finished. God was just getting started. Three days postmortem, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God had risen; yes, risen from the dead. He walked free of the tomb victorious over the greatest trial ever; giving all of mankind hope, hope that would endure for all eternity.

Friends, if Jesus can conquer death on a cruel inhumane death on the cross, once and for all. This virus is peanuts next to the challenge Christ conquered for us. He came to give us that same life eternal. So, I don’t encourage you. Jesus Christ, the Son of God challenges you to “NEVER EVER GIVE UP!”

This Sunday is Resurrection Sunday. A day we often call Easter. It is a day when all followers of Jesus Christ celebrate his and our victory over sin and death. It is the day we mark as the final proof of the deity of Christ. At First Christian Church of Clovis we will celebrate Jesus and I will share a message with you on FaceBook Live titled “Resurrected to Hope” based on 1 Peter 1:3-9. I hope you will join us on the First Christian Church FaceBook page at 10:30AM. Please, NEVER GIVE UP!

Hanging in there with you,

Jon

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