Perseverance Sermon Illustrations

Perseverance Sermon Illustrations

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After Sir Walter Raleigh's introduction to the favor of Queen Elizabeth, he wrote with a diamond on the window pane: `Fain would I climb, but that I fear to fall.'

The Queen saw the words that he had written, and wrote with a diamond underneath it: 'If thy heart fail thee, do not climb at all.'

(Phil. 3. 12; Col. 1. 23)


In 1935, in Oklahoma, young Manning Duncan was ordained to the ministry. In the examination he was asked, "If you were to preach ten years and see no results, what would you do?" He answered, "I would preach ten years more."

That answer was of God. Human standards demand immediate, visible results. How far are modern standards from those of the Bible! And what the results!—Courtesy Moody Monthly.

Toil on, faint not, keep watch and pray;
Be wise the erring soul to win;
Go forth into the world's highway,
Compel the wanderer to come in.
Toil on, and in thy toil rejoice;
For toil comes rest, for exile home;
Soon shalt thou hear the Bridegroom's voice,
The midnight peal, Behold I come!—Bonar

When your eye of faith is dim,
Still hold on Jesus, sink or swim;
Still at his footstool bow the knee,
And Israel's God thy peace shall be.—Selected

After a great snow-storm, a little fellow began to shovel a path through a large snow-bank before his grandmother's door. He had nothing but a small shovel with which to work. "How do you expect to get through that big drift?" asked a man passing by. "By keeping at it," said the boy cheerfully.  What a lesson!—Selected

Cling to What Is Left

There is not a more fervid and great-hearted preacher than Robert Louis Stevenson, and he himself illustrates the Gospel he preaches. "Cling to what is left," is his message, "make the best of what remains." There did not seem to be very much left for him, but what a splendid use he made of it! His whole life was one long struggle against illness. He went to Bournemouth, to the South of France, to California, and at last to the South Seas in search of health. Many a man, stricken as he was, would have resigned himself to the invalid's life. But Stevenson refused to regard the door of usefulness as closed against him. He refused to succumb to the attacks of illness. He declined to yield to invalidism. With splendid courage, he addressed himself to his appointed task.

"I have written," he said in a letter to George Meredith, "in bed, and written out of it, written in hemorrhages, written in sickness, written torn by coughing, written when my head swam for weakness." When an attack of hemorrhage constrained him to carry his right hand in a sling, he wrote some of his Child's Garden of Verse with his left hand. When another attack left him prostrate that he dared not speak, he dictated a novel in the deaf and dumb alphabet.

When at thirty-nine years of age, writer's cramp added itself to his other troubles, he continued to write, using his step­daughter, Mrs. Strong, as his amanuensis.

The result of it all was that Robert Louis Stevenson lived as fruitful and helpful a life as almost any literary man of the last century. He has enriched the world. In spite of his incessant struggle with sickness and pain, which made his existence a kind of daily dying, Stevenson found life offered him an "open door."

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