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In boxing (and some other sports), to be “saved by the bell” means to avoid being counted out by the ringing of the bell at the end of the round. A last minute save, if you like. And there is an important and valuable lesson to be learned from this simple phrase.

A guard at Windsor Castle in the Victorian times, who was accused of being asleep on night duty, vigorously denied this and, in his defence, said that he had heard Big Ben (which could be heard in Windsor in those days before traffic and Heathrow Airport) chime 13 at midnight. The mechanism was checked and it was found that a gear or cog had slipped and that the clock had indeed chimed 13 the previous night – he was truly Saved by the Bell.

There are many examples of this throughout history. The biblical story of Abraham being asked by God to sacrifice his son, Isaac, (who, unknown to many because of religious paintings depicting him as a young boy, was actually a 30 year old man who went willingly to the altar), was a similitude of the Father sacrificing His son Jesus for us. But a further lesson is that God allowed Isaac go all the way until he was about to plunge the knife into his only beloved son when an angel stopped him and indicated a goat caught in the bushes as a substitute. What do you think this did for Abraham’s faith? This is how we build faith – by hanging on, even when things seem hopeless.

Seasoned entrepreneurs know that we usually make a breakthrough just before we lose a lot of money, often from a source we never expected. It takes experience and courage to brave the storms of business, and only the best succeed through sheer perseverance and faith. We develop faith in ourselves and in God when we are saved by the bell. He has a purpose in making us wait.

There is a time to quit, don’t get me wrong, but experience alone can teach us when it is appropriate. The message I wish to share with you today is that patience, raw guts, and faith, as well as hard work and an open mind, are essential for success in life. I have encountered many people who quit at the drop of a hat, those monkey-brained types who jump from opportunity to opportunity, from relationship to relationship, because they don’t have what it takes to stay the course.

That’s why the only sport I ever watch (and I don’t watch it often), is boxing. Watch the Rocky series of films, all seven of them, if you want to see the power of faith and determination. If you haven’t read the inspirational, true-life story of Sylvester Stallone, I suggest you read it here. It will only take a few minutes, but I guarantee you will be glad you did.

If life is hard for you right now, and you need encouragement and help, the best option you have is to turn to God for guidance and help. Ideally, you should align yourself with a church whose members walk their talk; they will give you moral support, inspire, and teach you when times are hard.

Robin Elliott   LeverageAdvantage.com

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