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In my pastoral disappointments and discouragements, I have found great power for perseverance by keeping before me the life of a person who surmounted great obstacles in obedience to God’s call by the power of God’s grace.
I have needed this inspiration from another century, because I know that I am, in great measure, a child of my times. And one of the pervasive marks of our times is emotional fragility. It hangs in the air we breathe. We are easily hurt. We blame easily. We break easily. Our marriages break easily. Our faith breaks easily. Our happiness breaks easily. We are easily disheartened, and it seems we have little capacity for surviving and thriving in the face of criticism and opposition. And if we think that we are not children of our times, let us simply test ourselves to see how we respond when people reject our ideas or spurn our good efforts or misconstrue our best intentions.
Help - Part - Society - Quitters - Spirit
We all need help here. We are surrounded by, and are part of, a society of emotionally fragile quitters. The spirit of the age is too much in us. We need to spend time with the kind of people whose lives prove there is another way to live. Scripture says, be “imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12). So I want to hold up for us the faith and patient endurance of Charles Simeon for our inspiration and imitation.
Charles Simeon was born on September 24, 1759. His father was a wealthy attorney, but no believer. We know nothing of his mother. She probably died early, so that he never knew her. From age 7 to 19, he attended England’s premier boarding school, the Royal College of Eton. The atmosphere was irreligious and degenerate in many ways. Looking...
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