Written by cycleguy on March 31st, 2013

“I’m taking my ball and going home!”

“If you can’t play by my rules then fine.  I’m done!”

We have all heard them.  We probably played with a few of them.  Shoot, those very words may have come out of our mouths.   But those are minor compared to these:

“I can’t trust God.  I quit.”

“I can’t believe in all the chaos and junk that there is really a God who cares.  I am done with Him.”

“I am tired of the whole church thing.  Time for me to check out.”

Unfortunately, we have all probably heard those somewhere along the line as well.  After just celebrating the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, it seems unfathomable to me that we can use those excuses for turning our  backs, i.e. quitting.  But it happens.  I am ashamed of the times I have wanted to throw my hands up in despair because God’s answer was not immediately forthcoming.  G-r-r-r-r.


Then I remember the goodness of God and how He has never let me down.  On time.  Slow time.  Hesitation time. But never late time.

You may have heard the story of Polycarp, the pastor of the church in Smyrna during the time Marcus Aurelius was ruling Rome.  He found out they were coming for him he fixed the soldiers breakfast.  He then asked for an hour to pray, and the story says they were so moved by his prayer they apologized for arresting him. 

Brought before the proconsul, he was found guilty and sentenced to be executed by being burned at the stake.  At his inquisition, the proconsul offered freedom if he would denounce Christ. 

Polycarp is said to have answered, “Eighty and six years have I served Him and He has never wronged me.  How can I blaspheme by king?”  When they staked him to the “tree” to be burned, they tied his hands instead of nailing him because he assured them he would not try escape.  The fire formed a ring around him, but would not burn HIM, so the executioner put a spear into him.  The blood was so much it put out the fire.  Eventually the Jews made sure his body was burned.  Source: Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

Quitting was not an option for Polycarp.  Quitting was not an option for many of the early Christ-followers.  Quitting should not be an option for me.  For you. For anyone.   The Easter story reminds us quitting should not be part of our vocabulary.  The cross couldn’t stop Jesus.   The grave couldn’t hold Him.


Hope you had a blessed Easter and found renewed hope for your journey.  What lesson did you take away from your weekend?


19 Comments so far ↓

  1. What we celebrated today is the hinge of history.

  2. Betty Draper says:

    I am glad we have those testemonies of not quitting. I love the scriptures II Cor 4:7-12 especially this part: 8 we are afficted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed, but not despairing, persecuted, but not destroyed, always carrying about in the body the dying of Jeus, so that the life of Jeus also my be manifested in our body.
    It is theres scriptures that tells me I may feel like quitting but He understands and that alone keeps me from quitting.

    The Sunday message was strong, direct and totally pointed to the Savior as our only means of salvation and how we are to live out that salvation in our life. Our son Jared went to church with us too…and he is talking about going back or finding another church to attend…Blessings brother.

    • cycleguy says:

      Those testimonies sometimes make me ashamed of my petty whining Betty. So glad to hear Jared went with you. If not there then maybe somewhere else. 🙂 Keep praying!

  3. Daniel says:

    Lovely and powerful post today. I am pondering this story of Polycarp in light of how I answered your post the other day.

    • cycleguy says:

      Thanks Daniel. And I sure hope you know I did not post this in response to that. I used this in my message Sunday to ask the question: why would people go through something like this?

      • Daniel says:

        Oh I understand. However, given the brevity of responses that this medium requires, sometimes I fear my reply can be misunderstood. Somethings require a bit of back and forth to develop a clear understanding.

  4. floyd says:

    Living in hope, which is confidence should be the mark of all of us who have had the truth of God revealed to us. Perseverance with a peace and joy should be the mark of those of us that have God inside us. We just need to be reminded once in awhile! We attended a sunrise service at a beach in CA. The clouds with the sun shining through seemed to speak to me the story of my Savior all by itself…

    • cycleguy says:

      A beach in CA huh? Hmmmm hope it was snowing! 🙂 Just kidding of course. Bet it was beautiful. Your words about perseverance ring true Floyd.

  5. When we’ve experienced the risen Christ, it is very difficult to turn our backs. Of course, that doesn’t happen just once but over and over through our lives. I’ve meditated a lot on Hebrews 12:3 lately, “For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” When we fail to consider Him, the price He paid, the glory in which He now dwells forever–we grow weary. I will consider Him over and over! Thanks Bill.

  6. tcavey says:

    I hadn’t heard that story before, thanks for sharing. It’s so powerful.
    God is so faithful, it hurts me to know there have been times I wasn’t faithful in return.

    This Easter God really pressed upon me the loneliness Christ faced by His friends leaving Him…He also showed me how Christ relied upon God and didn’t focus on His friends. Jesus knew loneliness, He knew being overwhelmed with tasks/cross.
    He hasn’t given me more than I can handle, I simply must trust Him and turn to Him and not “man”.

    • cycleguy says:

      What a great lesson to learn TC. Not doing or even trying to do it alone. I know I am unable to do any task right or completely when I do.

  7. Jan says:

    The lesson I took away was that Jesus could have given up, said these people are hopeless, they continue to reject me, he was mistreated & that’s a nice way of putting it, yet he continued on, knowing what He had to do in order for me to have hope…..in times when I feel like giving up & let my depression take over, are the very times I have to think about what Jesus did for me and know that I’m not alone. Do not put my hopes/dreams in people, those are for God to take care of. Great post Bill.

  8. Debbie says:

    I feel He is telling me to listen and lean (into Him) for this time. Thank you and God bless you!

  9. Mike says:

    I pray that should I ever be faced with the same situation as Polycarp, I would answer in such an unafraid way.