by Terry Wane Benton
I was feeling discouraged and beat down. I was losing heart, but I turned to John 6:68 and asked, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." Suddenly my mind shifted into serious reflection about what would abandoning my faith in Jesus do for me? Would all the evidence I had studied for Jesus suddenly become false? Would all the songs I had sung through the years about "heaven holds all for me" and "I'm in the Gloryland way" now mean wasted breath and wasted thoughts? Would the love of Christ and the assurance of hope suddenly mean I was faking such a hope and would being absorbed in a love so pure now mean that it was all just a childish game of pretend?
I thought about the people who abandoned Jesus that day because their interest in Him was superficial. It was mainly about the free meals, not the meaningful content of what He was offering the soul. Then I thought, is that me? Am I discouraged because I am focused on the material benefits that I am not getting anymore? Or have I truly tasted that the Lord is good, and know He is worth my full commitment? Where shall I go? What is better than the words of eternal life?
As I thought about what I have in Jesus and His words of eternal life I realized that there is no better place to be. I thought about those who abandoned Jesus. Are they forever glad they made that choice? I can't imagine that they are. What about those who hung in there through thick and thin? Are they glad they did?
As I thought about that, new energy of mind and heart began to fill me, and I felt ashamed that I let myself entertain the thought of quitting. A song that I grew up singing, "Am I a Soldier of the Cross?" echoed in my heart, "must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease while others fought to win the prize and sailed through bloody seas?" I became ashamed that so little in negative experiences could prove my faith so small and defeated. Faith is the victory, not giving up!
So, I kept getting back up from my near defeats, and locked my armor in place, and walked more closely with Jesus. He has the words of eternal life! Let that echo in your conscience when you feel beaten down!