“We are never defeated unless we give up on God.”
– Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan Never Defeated Quote Commentary
Let’s face it-life can be a struggle. Those waves of monthly bills never seem to end. Your boss or your customers can be impossible to please. Your family can sometimes seem like they don’t understand you or care about what you’re going through. Disagreements can sometimes flare up with your friends. Life isn’t a cakewalk. It can all be a bit too much. It can feel a bit too heavy. It is too easy to feel that we’re facing all these challenges all alone. The good news is that when we feel life’s pressures, we actually have an opportunity. We can claim Jesus’ promise that his yoke is light and his burden is easy. Or we can choose to lean on our own understanding and tap our own power. We always have this choice. Unfortunately, all of us, at one time or other, fall for the temptation of looking at out problems and challenges as merely puzzles that we can think and reason our way through. Others look at their challenges as a test of personal will and character. When things clear up (and they almost always do due to God’s grace), we become puffed up and stick out our chests and take credit. ‘I did it!,’ we’d silently say to ourselves in triumph. It doesn’t take much of these incidents to develop a deep level of pride that is hard to shake. Sure, we may say to others and say out loud that Jesus carried us through, but deep down we cherish this pride.
Eventually, our pride grows with so many small victories we take credit for that we develop a deep level of apathy. We know God is there. We know that Jesus is faithful to his promises. We know that the Holy Spirit is our Comforter. We know all that. But it doesn’t matter. Our pride can’t connect ‘head knowledge’ or intellectual knowledge with ‘heart knowledge’-the kind we feel. The kind we live out. As a result, many of us live prideful lives where we don’t even truly seek out God’s help, His guidance, and His grace. Sadly, we all eventually hit a wall. By then our apathy has built such a thick wall between our hearts and God that we have given up asking for his grace to give to us not what we deserve but according to his grace and good pleasure.
Our pride’s overthrow, whether it takes the form of a divorce, nervous breakdown, bankruptcy, job termination, becoming a victim of a crime, suffering from a natural disaster, or some other calamity that originated with Satan makes our apathy even more bitter. Only then do we realize that we pushed God out of the equation and have been trying to carry our lives all along. Only then do we realize the full taste of utter and total defeat.
The good news is that we don’t need to cry out for too long into the emptiness. Because, standing at the door of our hearts, is Jesus. Ever patient. Ever compassionate. He knows that we’ll cry out to him sooner or later. And he’s always there. Just waiting for us to make our choice. Why? Because love is based on choice. Jesus never forces us to choose him. You have a choice. Would you like to let Him into your heart and base your strength on him right now?