«People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness» (Proverbs 14:29, NLT).
Guillaume Farel (1489-1565), one of the great men of the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland, was determined to proclaim in Geneva the biblical teachings. If he managed to do so, he would make that population the center of the Reform for countries like France, Switzerland, and Italy. And for this, he had been preaching in the surrounding villages with great success. So one day he decided to go into Geneva, but he was only allowed to preach two sermons. Subsequently, he was threatened by armed priests and taken to an ecclesiastical council, where an impassioned crowd awaited him outside the room to kill him. He managed to get out alive thanks to the presence of the magistrates and an armed force. The great reformers attempt to win Geneva for the Protestant cause had failed.
But the reformers didn’t stop there. Now would be Antoine Froment’s turn, one of Farel’s disciples. In fact, he was a young man of such an irrelevant appearance that even his own companions treated him coldly. However, he was committed to conquering Geneva for Christ. In 1532, he went to Geneva for the first time and opened a school where he taught religion. He announced it with posters that said: «A man has arrived who within a month will teach whomever, be it adult or child, man or woman, to read and write in French; whomever does not learn during that time will need not pay anything. This man will also heal from many infirmities without charging.» People went in droves looking for him. Froment was an excellent teacher and turned his classes into speeches and sermons. The seed was being sown! Later, he decided to preach in public squares. On several occasions he was interrupted by armed priests and forced to flee by the police and to escape at night to save his life. But he returned again and again.—Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol. 8, Peabody: Hendrickson Publishing House, 2002, p. 253.
Antoine Froment, the simple boy without great physical attributes, had great success proclaiming the gospel in Geneva. He helped Farel, Viret, and Calvin in the Protestant cause. He did not concentrate on his shortcomings nor sat down to «lick his wounds» every time he was thrown out of the city or angrily threatened. Rather, he persevered in his goal of proclaiming the gospel in Geneva, and he obtained extraordinary results!
Achieving our goals does not depend on one’s intellectual ability or physical appearance or social condition. Those who persevere in noble purposes, no matter who they are, will obtain what they seek sooner or later. The secret is not to give up. Today ask the Lord to help you try again in what you have not yet achieved.