It’s Not Over!
It is so easy to quit and give up on people and dreams. Likewise, there are people who feel it is their appointed duty to tell you to stop because they cannot imagine your progress. One of the most difficult things to do is to press on when all doors appear shut, locked, and boarded up, without a chance of survival.
During his prize fight with George Foreman, under sweltering heat in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Muhamad Ali did the “Rope a Dope” for most of eight rounds. To many, it looked like Foreman was winning the fight. Foreman was younger, stronger and had a reputation for devastating his challengers. Leaning against the ropes as Foreman punched him, it looked to many that all hope was lost and Ali would go down in defeat. Near the end of the eighth round, Ali emerged from the ropes and began punching Foreman, and ultimately knocked him out. To many it seemed like the fight was over before it began, but in victory, Ali showed that “It’s not over until it is over.”
You and I must be careful not to give up too soon. Often, the greatest blessings are the blessings that come when we have weathered the storms of life and held on in faith – marriages that defied divorce, businesses that beat bankruptcy, individuals who overcame depression and a lack of hope. People who through challenging work and patience became the first to achieve accomplishments that no one else in their family have achieved, like obtaining a college degree. One lesson I have learned in life is this: “It is not over, until it is over!”
The Bible has several examples of people who refused to give up. David did not give up in the face of the giant, Goliath. Moses did not quit in the face of the Red Sea. Joshua does not let the River Jordan stop him. In the Book of Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego did not give up their faith, even when they were threatened with death in a fiery furnace. They chose to hold on in faith and risk death, rather than turn their backs on God.
The most powerful illustration in the Bible of a situation where it seemed like everything was lost was the crucifixion of Jesus. His crucifixion was intended to put fear in those who believed he was the Son of God. As the nails burst through the flesh of Jesus, the Jewish detractors and the Roman soldiers were intent on making the point that Jesus was finished, it was over. Three days later, when Jesus rose from the grave, it was clear that what some thought was over, was very much alive and preparing the way for salvation from death for all who believe.
I encourage you to read Daniel, chapter 3 and immerse yourself in the story of the three Hebrew young men and how they survived the furnace of fire.
Questions for Reflection:
- Have you ever doubted God?
- When in your life have you felt that God “Delivered” you?
Prayer: Lord, strengthen me, so I might never give up on you! Grant me a faith that can move mountains: a hope that can see the best and beyond every present reality; and a love that will not fail. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
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