Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy ~Sir Winston Churchill, 1941
My favorite statesman, Churchill, at his heart was a warrior. He refused to leave London at the urgings of his advisors when the Germans commenced to bombing it night and day. Churchill struggled with a melancholy disposition his whole life, and yet something seemed to awaken in him when it came to a good struggle. A demeanor of joviality.
To keep our faith and humanity while carrying on with tough tasks is the mark of high maturity. To keep our joy is a mark of the divine:
The Apostle Paul writes in I Thessalonians 5:16-18:
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
As Christians, we are ordered to pray continually, and to maintain a positive attitude. If we have grief or doubts, we should let God minister to them. But in the end, we can rest assured that He will take care of us, and even when we face death, we know that while man can kill the flesh, only God can touch our souls. (Jesus–Matthew 10: 28-31).
If you’ve tried “pretending” things are ok, even when most people would say a disaster’s occurring, you know that happiness if the face of adversity actually helps you to make your thoughts a reality. There are those who will pout their way through tough times, waiting for others to fix their problems. Thank goodness there are those that can remain joyful and continue to work things out.
The Old Testament’s greatest warrior–David–faced off mano-a-mano against the Philistine champion, Goliath. Goliath stood, terrorizing and taunting the ranks of Hebrews, when David, a boy, steps forward:
“Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
King Saul has little faith:
“You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.”
One can imagine a wry smirk on David’s face as he confronts an impressive foe. He then let’s Goliath know of his impending doom:
“Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
The writer of I Samual records what happens next:
David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.
There was no logical choice but to remain confident in the face of overwhelming odds. David knew that the Israelites were too afraid to fight. They would likely break ranks and be slaughtered by the pursuing enemy. But David remained confident and joyful.
The British Royal Marines must endure one of the longest and toughest training programs in the world. 32 weeks of arduous and stressful operations that determine if recruits have what it takes to be part of an elite fighting force. The program is devided into 6 “modules”. It’s interesting to see that the purpose of Module 5–The Commando Course–is described as the following:
“To confirm a recruit is professionally prepared for service in an operational unit, is at a Commando level of fitness and has the requisite qualities of determination, courage, unselfishness, professional skill & cheerfulness under adversity”
British soldiers are well known for remaining chipper in bad situations. It’s part of their military’s culture. And it shows in their performance.
So, keep your chin up, and drive on. Things are never quite as bad as we imagine them and you can get through anything with the right mindset. Some Shakespeare dude said that that there’s no evil but thinking makes it so. He was on to something.