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When You Really Want to Quit

Trust in God during life's disappointments, and never, never give up.

From the editor

We all struggle with the reality that sometimes bad things happen to good people. Adding to our inner turmoil is the reality that sometimes good things happen to bad people. Using Psalm 73 as his principle text, W. Frank Harrington offers a new perspective on such troubling matters. As you read, notice how Harrington interjects classic poetry with biblical poetry, pop cultural references with theological concepts, and stories alongside the chief story of salvation. It's a subtle way to address questions that haunt the hearts of believers and nonbelievers alike.


In the play A Man for All Seasons, Sir Thomas More's daughter, Meg, is bitter. Like the psalmist, she does not and can not understand why good people suffer. Good men like her father ought to be honored, not put in prison and scorned. Her father speaks to her about it:

If we lived in a state where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us good, and greed would make us saintly. … But since in fact we see that avarice, anger, envy, pride, sloth, and stupidity commonly profit far beyond humility, chastity, fortitude, justice, and thought, and have to choose to be human at all … why then, perhaps we must just stand fast a little.

Sooner or later, all of us come to that intersection of contradiction in the journey that is called life. The good seem to suffer; the wicked seem to prosper. The reality is, as Scott Peck put it in The Road Less Traveled: "Life is hard." All of life's music is not in perfect harmony. What starts out to be a symphony becomes a cacophony, and discordant notes often dominate the score.

People may get married with joy, but many do not live happily ever after. The fairy tales of our childhood have misled ...

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W. Frank Harrington pastored Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and wrote several books, including First Comes Faith: Proclaiming the Gospel in the Church (Louisville, KY: Geneva Press, 1998).

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Sermon Outline:


I. The problem is that the wicked prosper, while the good suffer

II. New perspective comes through drawing near to God

III. We must trust in God, and never give up