Don’t Give Up
In our society today, there is a characteristic that is not common to most people – perseverance! In serving the Lord there are also those who struggle with this as well, as they don’t want to be strong when life gets difficult for them. The human default reaction to difficult times in life is to give up & go another direction. But if you are going to succeed in life, if you are going to succeed in your Christian walk you have to have the intestinal fortitude to face tough times & NOT give up and give in into your fears.
Let’s look at this from a believer’s standpoint. You may be serving the Lord, reading your Bible, going to church, and trying to be and do what God has called you to. However, we live in a broken world and this life is hard & unfair. There will be situations that begin to build up & you come up against a great wall of trouble! Many of us hate this and we just want to throw our hands in the air & give up even though Scripture tells us to trust the Lord in these times.
What does it mean for the believer when we have the desire to give up when things get difficult? I can see 4 very good reasons why believers should NEVER give in to the feeling of giving up:
1) To give up means to give over or give into the control or possession of another. For the believer who is hurting or struggling, difficult times can be one of the most vulnerable times in our life. When serving God gets difficult and we ‘give up’ what we are saying is that we are willing to give up control of our life to anyone other than Christ because serving Him is too hard. You don’t want to give up your life to anything or anyone other than Jesus. In times of difficulty we must strive to give Christ even more control.
2) To give up means to stop doing something permanently. In life, especially when it pertains to our spiritual growth, when we stop seeking to grow, when we stop seeking to have a closer relationship with Christ, we shut off any avenue to growth or improvement, we are damaging our relationship with Jesus. Serving God will have its trials and we cannot abandon it when things get hard. Believers must press in and seek to grow & mature in our faith.
3) To give up means to yield to the power and control of the enemy. We are servants of Christ and to surrender to the enemy is NOT our path. Our calling is to serve God and to stand and fight the good fight and never give into the enemy.
4) To give up means to give ourselves over to the unrestrained control of another! As a believer, we are submitted and surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus in our lives. There are going to be times when serving God will seem unbearable. However, for the believer to ‘give up’ means that we give over control of our lives to that which is against the Lordship of Christ.
The purpose of this blog is to encourage you to NOT give up! When the doctor informs you that you need a surgery to make you healthy again, you trust the doctor & you know that you will go through a difficulty before you are back to full health. Likewise, there are times in our lives when serving the Lord may be hard, it may be uncomfortable, but we can’t give up because God is constantly working on us to shape & mold us into His character. You would never stop the doctor in the middle of surgery and get up off the operating table, would you? Then don’t stop… don’t give up on God’s work in your life!
When we look to Scripture, we find there were MANY that were used of God who came to the point of ‘giving up’ because of the storms of life. However, Scripture reveals that they were able to overcome the terrible desire to give up and they persevered. Likewise, we can persevere and be used by God through our difficulties instead of allowing them to take us out of service to Him.
I look at Moses, David, Daniel, Paul, Peter, James & John & I see those who came upon MANY difficult times serving the Lord. I see those who had the opportunity to ‘give up’ but instead they persevered & experienced the great blessings that God had for them. They were able to serve & accomplish much for the Kingdom of God.
In Mark 6 the disciples had been serving with Jesus and had just witnessed Him feed 5000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Jesus wanted to cross the Sea of Galilee, & on the journey a storm came up. The disciples who had just witnessed Jesus miraculously transform food to feed a multitude, were overwhelmed at the storm & believed they were finished. They went to Jesus and He got up & calmed the storm.
There are going to be times in your walk with God when you think all is going well & a storm is going to hit you out of nowhere. This is because hard times are hard & a fact of life, but it is in the hard times when we learn to trust Him the most & when He can shape & mold us to be more like Him. The disciples panicked & even though He calmed the storm, Jesus actually rebukes their lack of faith.
You may be facing a storm right now & the enemy may be overshadowing the circumstances of your life right now trying to get you to throw in the towel. However, I want you to be encouraged & know that even though we ALL face hard times, God is good & He is with us. Jesus can calm the storm for us, but He is also capable of being with us & protecting us through the storm. When we place our trust in the Lord, it will not be in vain. In Isaiah 40:31 we are reminded that those who wait on God’s timing and trust in God’s judgment…they are rewarded.
“…but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
When we wait on God’s timing and trust in His guidance, we are going to have the strength to face any storm, we will be given wings to soar over it, endurance to run through it, & perseverance to come out on the other side victorious! Don’t allow the enemy to convince you that ‘giving up’ is even an option! Stay tuned into God’s direction for your life by abiding in His Word & staying close in prayer & listening for His voice to guide your steps!