So you want to quit?

“I cannot do this even one more day!”  Ever said that or at least felt like that? Most of us do.  Working at a job that is terrible? Living in a marriage is hard? Or, you could be fighting inside, trying to overcome a habit that makes you feel helpless.  It might even be your faith walk, a real struggle between Self and the Spirit that makes you want to just walk away!

Christian there is a way ahead, a victory in the making, IF we will trust God.

His colleagues mocked him, accusing him of losing his common sense to religious fervor. The business elites warned him that his idealism would destroy the economy.  Stress took a toll on his health and he aged far beyond his years. At first a public majority believed his activism was a fool’s crusade. But, William Wilberforce would not quit! For 26 long years he brought up the same subject in the Parliament every time he could.  Using wit and wisdom, he turned the issue of slavery and the immoral trade of human beings into the talk of England. Finally in 1807, this great Christian succeeded in getting the House of Commons to vote to end slave trade.  The Crown agreed and a vile practice came to an end.  This wealthy man, first elected to Parliament at age 21, nearly left politics to become a pastor but, urged by his friends, he did not quit the fight and his persistence changed history!

Have you experienced some period in your life when the effort was all consuming, when the hardships were overwhelming?
Did it seem that the only option was to just quit?
When we’re opposed by most, rejected by some, or resisting the majority, we be tempted to think that the right thing to do is to call it quits. 
“How much more can I take before I break?” we think to ourselves. 

I wonder if Joseph wondered if he would break under pressure anytime along his long, circuitous route to fulfillment of his dreams? He endured 20 years of one injustice and hardship after another. His brothers sold him into slavery, motivated less by greed than hatred.  The wife of his household owner, Potiphar, tried to seduce him and when he resisted her, she accused him of rape, leading to a long prison sentence! A man he befriended and helped in prison, forgot all about him when released. But, he kept his dreams and his faith in God.

Joseph kept on doing the right things, trusting God, and refusing to become a bitter cynic. Finally God brought him into serving as Prime Minister of Egypt. He guided the nation through a terrible crisis of famine.  When given the ‘perfect’ opportunity to settle the score with his cruel brothers he chose instead to forgive them.  He saw God’s promises fulfilled as he provided safety for his people. The story takes us a few minutes to read and sounds so inspiring. Joseph had to live it – one day after another!  That’s faith, friend.

The Bible urges disciples to keep their faith“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:35-36, NLT)  There are many seasons in life- preparation, building, working, investing, before we see the realization of God’s purposes in us. Failure is inevitable IF we quit too soon.  Perhaps that sounds like a strange piece of advice coming from a man just days away from retiring from 45 years of pastoral service.  I may be stepping down from leading a congregation but I pray for opportunities to continue to do the work of God until the day He calls me home.

Those who would do the will of God must make a priority choice to focus and then stick with their convictions.  Our example is none other than Jesus! The Word says “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3, NIV)

By the way, don’t confuse persistence with stubbornness! A stubborn person keeps on doing the same thing, refusing to adapt and learn, thinking himself above advice.  He perpetuates his failure!  A persistent one studies his plans, prays fervently, listens well – and keeps trying, and trying, and trying – until he finds a way to do what he was born to do.

Our word from the Word encourages a renewed hope:
“But thanks be to God!
He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.
Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
(1 Corinthians 15:57-58, NIV)

Now, what did He say to YOU? Are you ready to live the promise?

______________

Way Maker

You are here moving in our midst
I worship You I worship You
You are here working in this place
I worship You I worship You

(You are) Way Maker Miracle Worker Promise Keeper
Light in the darkness my God that is who You are

You are here touching ev’ry heart
I worship You I worship You
You are here healing ev’ry heart
I worship You I worship You

You are here turning lives around
I worship You I worship You
You are here mending ev’ry heart
I worship You yeah I worship You Lord

That is who You are
That is who You are
That is who You are
That is who You are

Even when I don’t see it You’re working
Even when I don’t feel it You’re working
You never stop You never stop working
You never stop You never stop working

Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu

© 2016 Integrity Music Europe (Admin. by Integrity Music)

CCLI License # 810055

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