Pastor's Monthly Message for February 2010

An End To Discouragement

A characteristic of many people who succeed in life is an absolute unwillingness to admit defeat. Many a cause has been won after the cause seemed hopeless simply because there was an individual who refused to be discouraged and who saw beyond the possibility of defeat, the bright hope of success and believed in it.
There is no question that defeat is a part of life. The only persons who have not experienced failure and defeat are those who have never tried; the only ones who have never tasted the bitter legacy of failure are the ones who have never risked devotion to a cause.

They who would succeed must understand defeat and not be defeated by it. And it is possible. in the words of the hymn "There Is A Balm In Gilead", there is a moment of succeeding and hope beyond all our momentary failures and defeats.
All too often we are impressed by the limitations of our lives; all too often we focus on failed dreams and unfulfilled expectations; all too often we see not the seacoast-the vast and hopeful bounty of the sea-but rather, the sand which slips through our fingers and cannot be held. Certainly, there are those who have talent and abilities greater than our own; there are those who have suffered less, who have gained more. God, however, does not measure us with anybody else. He does not value our lives in the context of other's living. The hymn promises and persuades us:

If you can't preach like Peter,
If you can't persuade like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus,
And say "He died for us all",

God did not make us to be defeated by life. Indeed, He sent His Son to sacrifice so that ultimately we will succeed. The ultimate success does not mean that there won't be moments of failure. But we are inspired by the light of Christ to take hope in our succeeding, to not be too quick to have failure define our experience, and to realize that failure does not in itself predicate defeated. We are defeated only if we are stopped, only if we linger in failure, and do not see beyond it to the hope of other opportunities. We are defeated only if we fail to see a brighter, more significant eternal success that will ultimately diminish every failure and save every soul who finds it out.

Pastor Hans Lillejord