By Scarlett Birge, student news writer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “We must persevere in the face of insurmountable odds,” said the Rev. Daniel Corrie Shull, senior pastor at Burnett Avenue Baptist Church of Louisville, Ky., at Campbellsville University’s Sept. 23 chapel service.
Shull read from Luke 13:31 in his sermon about perseverance and choosing to have a positive attitude in the face of adversity.
He said the paradigm for perseverance is shown in this section of the gospel as Jesus moves with determination toward his destiny of being crucified for the salvation of humans regardless of the negativities he faced along the way.
He related the gospel to the Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, who dedicated himself to speaking on the “global struggle for human dignity,” said Shull.
He spoke about Frankl’s intelligence and scientific research in the psychology field when in 1942 he was completely shut down and placed into a concentration camp for being Jewish. Frankl had to face the death of his parents, siblings and his pregnant wife while being subjected to the terrible treatment of the camps, Shull said.
“Viktor Frankl experienced people giving up as a consequence of facing such insurmountable odds,” he said. In the midst of being in a place where people were losing hope, Frankl was able to hold onto his hope. This attitude of holding onto one’s hope and faith is what allows for us to persevere, Shull said.
“This day we live in the midst of unprecedented times. This is a time when you and I have to choose our attitude,” Shull said.
“You find that violence, crime and upheaval is everywhere,” he said. “It is in these types of circumstances and situations that you and I must choose our attitude. We must choose the way that we will approach the world.”
Shull said our daily attitude entails “we must show up full of confidence that we serve a God who is still on the throne.”
“Jesus is so full of his purpose. He is so committed to what God is doing in his life that he does not allow the negative news to sideline his purposeful pursuit of productivity,” he said about learning from the perseverance of Jesus and trying to follow in his footsteps.
“If we are going to rise above our circumstances and even continue to move faithfully through our circumstances we’ve got to take a lesson out of the book of Jesus and refuse to be intimidated by negative people or their pronouncements,” Shull said.
Shull said it is easy to identify those who are ingenuine and with sinister motives by their rush to confront others with negativity to try and discredit other people. These situations are tests of faith and character to see if we really are who we say we are, Shull said.
When receiving negativity, Jesus teaches to block it out and instead latch onto the glory of God for affirmation, he said.
“If you’re going to persevere in the midst of a pandemic, if you’re going to keep moving forward when you are confronted with bad news and negativity, you’ve got to refuse to embrace the negative news that is around you,” he said.
“You have to be confident in what God has said over your life and embrace that as the truth that you will speak over yourself. This is the paradigm for perseverance that Jesus teaches us,” Shull said.
He said we should remind ourselves that each adversity has an expiration date and the only thing that lasts forever is the salvation of Jesus Christ.
“You’ve just got to do the best that you can right now and when you realize everything has an expiration date you can take it day by day and you can be strong in the day that God has allowed you to live,” he said.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 11,900 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.
Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Campbellsville University.