Don’t Give Up – Part 1 – March 17, 2014

Beloved Saints of God
 
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your pathsProverbs 3:5.
 
Let me start with this premise, that one thing which is common to all mankind is that we all fail. Can anyone reading this devotional tell me that there isn’t anyone, not even one person out there who hasn’t failed? Fact is, some have even failed more, probably far more than others. As this is one of those areas where we all need some encouragement, we will cover it in 4 parts.
 
Fred Bauer wrote how he once “went backstage at the Metropolitan Opera to interview Jerome Hines, the internationally famous singer, who is also an active Christian layman. While he applied makeup and got ready for his role in that night’s production of Aida, I asked him questions about his life and faith. One of the most fascinating things he told me was that he wasn’t a good enough singer to make his high school glee club. He auditioned for the choir, but failed to impress the director. Did that deter his career? I wanted to know.”

“‘No, I kept on singing,’ Hines said, ‘because I loved to sing. I never considered it anything more than an avocation.’ So he went off to college, studied math and sang as a hobby—which led to some amateur roles, which led to his discovery by people who had a different opinion of his talent from his high school teacher. Later that night, as I stood in the wings and listened to his rich bass voice sweep over that famous hall, I wondered how there could have ever been any question.”
 
What about Bill Gates whose first business failed? Ah huh, the richest person in the whole world, worth $76B didn’t make his $76B or for that matter money easily. No, not at first! His first company was Traf-O-Data, a device that could read traffic tapes and process the data, was a miserable failure. History records that Bill Gates, with partner Paul Allen tried to sell the Traf-O-Data but it wouldn’t even work. So then, was that the end of, or for the two partners? No! Even though Gates had to go crying to his mum to come and convince his potential customers that the device works. They didn’t allow that to stop them from trying again, which they did. Today, we know the history. By the way, as of March 2013, Paul Allen was estimated to be the 53rd-richest person in the world, with an estimated wealth of $15 billion.
 
Let me draw one other illustration. Jay-Z who is now a behemoth in the global “music” as well as the entrepreneurial industry. Jay-Z initially couldn’t get anyone to sign him to any record labels. He came from a rough and tough Brooklyn neighborhood and had big ideas, plans and dreams to be a whopper of a rapper. But that was not the case with the rest of the world; at least not at first. Did that stop him? No! But today, he is called a “mogul” and is the creator of a music powerhouse, his very own, I might add. Again today, his label is the mega lucrative Roc-A-Fella Records. Look at the evidence of where Jay-Z is today. He’s married to Beyoncé who is seen as a powerhouse in similar industries. TIME ranks him as one of their 2013 Most Influential People In The World meanwhile Forbes estimates his net worth at $500 million. Looks like no one can stop Jay-Z.
 
Of a couple of things I am convinced, and that is that not everyone is going to be a Bill Gates or a Jay-z and also, that God has a plan and purpose for every life that He has created, even those who are handicapped. Some of us may get sidetracked, experience setbacks, face disappointments and even to a great extent become so discouraged from time to time. But for those of us who also have God on our side, if we are genuinely committed to discovering God’s plan, seriously seek His Face and His help and never give up, this amazing and awesome God will surely direct us and His plan for our life will be fulfilled. Our own life and the lives of many others will be greatly enriched as a result and we will be so content with our life without being millionaires or billionaires. What I’m saying is that lessons that we learn from failures should make us better able to handle adversity in the future while helping others. 
 
Proposed prayer: “Dear Father, please I ask You to help me to discover what Your plan and purpose are for my life. So many times I’m not sure and end up frustrated, disappointed and discouraged. Please teach me never to give up no matter what sidetracks come my way, how many setbacks I experience and whatever disappointments I face. Help me to always learn to trust you and also to know and use my gifts and talents no matter what. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

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