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In today’s environment there is a clarion call to all humanity to be strong. We live in uncertain times. Recent years have seen uncommon weather events: such as higher temperatures, unprecedented forest fires, and an increase in storms and hurricanes. However, the need for strength extends beyond the realm of weather. We are also facing high inflation and the cost of living is getting higher and higher. So, through these uncertain times, it is important to remember the importance of faith.

As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he encouraged them to be strong and to find faith “in the lord and in the strength of his might.” He encouraged them to put on the whole armor of God so that they could stand against the schemes of evil and cosmic powers over their darkness.

Speaking about strength, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” I encourage you to find the strength to keep moving forward when things seem unobtainable in your life. Even in moments when you feel defeated, remember your goals and the path God has laid out for you and find the strength to keep moving forward.

Others have provided powerful messages about hope and perseverance. Author and religious leader Dieter F. Uchtdorf offers another message of hope and perseverance: “It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop. Consider what your life story will be if you give in to the troubles of this world.”

Anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela said, “Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” In the end, this is how all of us will be judged. It takes strength to get back up when you are down, especially when your challenges seem too hard to overcome. You must be strong!

The lyrics of American soul singer-songwriter Jerry Butler’s hit, Only the Strong Survive, ring true: “Only the strong survive. You have got to be strong; you better hold on and don’t worry about it. Don’t you know that things are going to change? You got to be a man. You have got to take a stand. Don’t ever feel that you can’t make it, baby.” So, Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Dr. Walter Ghosten