“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
Having just celebrated our nation’s Independence Day has caused me to pause and ponder the lives of those men and women who have served us so well; Abraham Lincoln was one of them. His Gettysburg Address is masterful, his statesmanship and accomplishments are impressive, but it’s the personal things in this extraordinary life that cause me wonder. Dogged by business failure, personal loss, rejection, political defeat, emotional stress, family crises and severe financial difficulties, he endured challenges that would have crushed an average man. Abraham Lincoln was not average.
What made Lincoln different? What was the secret that continually moved him toward the White House? In truth, there wasn’t a secret. But there was something deep, something clearly visible and available to all just as it was to Lincoln. It was the interior life of Abraham Lincoln that gave him the insight, wisdom, and fortitude to persevere.
He was a man who loved and knew the Word of God, listen to his own words:
“Take all this book upon reason that you can, and the balance on faith. I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man.
All the good from the Savior (Jesus) of the world is communicated to us through this book.”
And, he was a man of prayer:
“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.”
How does the Lord make fit a man or woman to accomplish an unimaginable feat? Conventional wisdom would choose a person full of life’s benefits and blessings, yet decades later President Roosevelt commented that Lincoln’s life embodied, “not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life.” Failure and hardship are never meant to be the end of the story. It’s in the stress and strain that God meets us in prayer, speaks to us through His Word, and strengthens us to steadfastly rise above the seemingly impossible, to do the outwardly improbable.
Believer, continue to persevere. In Him, you can do the unexpected. In Him, you can rise above. In Him, you are not average.
– Pastor Jack
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