The apostle Paul stated in Galatians 6:9,
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
I’m grateful that the Holy Spirit led this man of God to pen these words for our encouragement. It is easy to become weary in well doing when there is constant opposition to our endeavors. It is tempting to give up and quit when defeat continues to pound our attempts.
Abraham Lincoln had amazing perseverance in spite of opposition to his political career!
Here is a brief rundown of his record:
- He failed in business at age 22.
- He ran for the legislature, and was defeated the next year.
- He failed again in business when he was 24.
- He was elected to the legislature at the age of 25; the next year his sweetheart died.
- At 27, he suffered a nervous breakdown.
- He was defeated when he ran for Speaker of the House at the age of 29, defeated for elector at 31, and defeated for Congress at 34.
- He was elected to Congress at the age of 39.
- He was defeated for Senate when he was 46.
- He was defeated for the office of vice president when he was 47, and defeated for Senate again at age 49.
- Then, when he was 51 years old, he was elected as president of the United States.
What a life of perseverance during twenty-nine years of defeat and heartbreak!
Of course, we know him to be one of our country’s greatest presidents. Lincoln reaped the honor of becoming president by his enduring, persevering spirit in the face of opposition, and we can apply this principle in the spiritual realm.
The prime example of this is the life of Paul–a man who faced intense opposition in serving his Lord. We can find an account of all he suffered for Christ in 2 Corinthians 11:24-28:
“Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food,in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.”
What a staggering account of what this man of God experienced! However, it was all for the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As a matter of fact, Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Paul experienced many years of opposition in the spiritual realm just as Abraham Lincoln did in the political realm. But the difference between these men is that Lincoln attained a position, but Paul attained a prize!
Paul said in Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” When this man of God came to the close of his life, he was able to say in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
I challenge all of us to consider the blessing and privileges that can be ours if we will preserve in spite of the difficulties we encounter. Perhaps you have been discouraged by constant criticism and resistance in your stand for the Lord?
I encourage you to stay strong in the Lord and wait upon Him, and one day He will honor you for your loyalty to Him!