“I’m so done. I can’t do this any longer.” Have you ever said those words – about a job, about a relationship? Me, too! Situations come our way that test every bit of resolve in us. The high value on personal happiness that is so basic to our American way of life makes it difficult for us to understand that we need to stick with things, seeing them to completion. Oh, yes there is a time to walk away, but that is for another blog post. Today I want us to think about pursuing God’s purposes through those tough times!
Joseph, whose story is told in the later chapters of Genesis, is a life lesson in “finishing through faith.” As a teenager, he heard a promise from the Lord about his future. He saw only the glory, without a clue about the suffering the 25 years, more or less, that stood between him and the fulfillment of his dream. He went through slavery, false accusation of sexual assault, imprisonment, and being completely forgotten. But, he is a study in being the best he could be in each of those places. He endured, not just stubbornly, but hopefully and faithfully. I am sure that Joseph wept, he was not a machine. I know that the rejections he experienced hurt, yet he choose to look beyond those moments and to serve the Lord – in humble places, in hard places, in situations he would not have chosen for himself. Many years later, he named his sons with Hebrew names that honored the Lord. His first son, he called Manasseh, which means “Made to forget.” His second son, he called “Ephraim” which means, “Doubly fruitful.” Every time he called those boys, he was thanking the Lord for bringing him through decades of difficulty!
Are you wrestling with obedience to God’s call today?
Are you ready to walk out of your marriage?
Are you in a dry time spiritually and thinking of just quitting your service, leaving church, and putting your Bible on the bookshelf to collect dust?
Have you said to yourself, “I can’t do this any longer”?
I understand that and so does the Lord! You are not the first to feel like you have exceeded all limits of endurance. Many have experienced the temptation to quit.
Before you do, would you be willing to commit yourself to Him again? Ask for His will, not yours. Like our Savior, tell the Lord about your pain, your sorrow, your disappointment and exhaustion. Jesus said, “Father, let this cup pass from me.” He was tempted to leave the mission of saving the world, but instead followed up with those famed words, “Not my will, but Yours.” It is not an easy choice to lay down your own life and to embrace His will. There is grace to be found in there, strength to endure. Do not think of endurance as gritted teeth and sheer determination. Endurance can be based in faith and through that faith be a place of hope and expectation of a life that is “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” (Eph 3:20)
Here is a word from the Word. They were written by Paul, who stayed with his call, through persecution, rejection, and disappointing results. May his courage and faith strengthen us today. “That’s why I stick it out here—so that everyone God calls will get in on the salvation of Christ in all its glory. This is a sure thing: If we die with him, we’ll live with him; If we stick it out with him, we’ll rule with him; If we turn our backs on him, he’ll turn his back on us; If we give up on him, he does not give up— for there’s no way he can be false to himself. ” (2 Timothy 2:10-13, The Message)
Trust In You (Listen to the song at this link)
Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wondering
Never changes what You see
I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty warrior King of the fight
No matter what I face You’re by my side
When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust I will trust
I will trust in You
Truth is You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less
You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation
The Rock on which I stand
Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go
You’ve not already stood
Lauren Ashley Daigle | Michael Farren | Paul Mabury© 2014 Farren Love And War Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (IMI)) Integrity’s Alleluia! Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (IMI)) Flychild Publishing (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC) CentricSongs (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.)
CCLI License # 810055