At one time or another most of us have felt like giving up. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, hold on! Things fall apart, plans go wrong, and disappointments come our way. We get hurt. After a major loss or failure, some people blame God, fold up, give up and pretty much stop living. However, others have amazing resilience. They get knocked down and seem to get up stronger than they were before. Paul suffered a great deal of persecution and injury as he traveled in ministry, serving God and spreading the good news of Jesus. Yet these words from 2 Corinthians (see verse), remind us that God doesn’t abandon us. We often don’t understand, but whatever happens don’t quit.
Scriptures –2 Corinthians 4:8-9; Job 1:20, 7:11, 6:14, 3:11, 21:15, 42:1-3,6, 13:15, 1:21-22, 2:9-10; 11:13-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Galatians 6:2; Proverbs 25:2; 1 Corinthians 13:12; Hebrews 12:15; Colossians 1:11
Verses – We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. (2 Cor 4:8-9)
Thought – The Book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible. It tells the story of a very wealthy and influential man who, in the span of 24 hours, lost his wealth, home, business, children, and was stricken with a horrible, painful disease. Now, if anyone ever wanted to give up, you’d think it would certainly be Job. However, he proves to be an outstanding example of one who continued to honor God through all his trials. How can we navigate through difficult times and keep on going? 1) Tell God exactly how you feel. You may be in shock, angry, bitter, fearful. God can handle your complaints, questions, doubts, and fears. Be honest with God. 2) Accept help from others. You need others who will help carry your sorrow, offer comfort and advice, and be as painfully honest as they need to be. You need Christian friends upon whom you can depend. 3) You need to stop asking “Why?”. In this life you may never know or understand “the why.” 4) Trust God in things you don’t understand. Often, we just need to accept the sovereignty of God and trust that He knows the end from the beginning. God’s ways are higher than our ability to comprehend. Trust God! 5) Refuse to be bitter. Bitterness is a root that can grow within you and taint your entire life. You will have sorrow. Grief is good, it helps you let go. But if you hang on to bitterness, you won’t be able to move on. 6) Face the future with courage. Keep in mind that whatever is happening in your life, it’s something you are going through; you don’t have to be stuck there. Keep moving forward to brighter days on the other side of your sorrow and loss. God will be with you…never give up!
Questions – Have you ever bailed out of something when you were stressed and discouraged? Have you ever wanted to give up on your faith? When you get knocked down, how quickly do you get up? Have you ever stayed down for a while? If so, explain! How have past losses and disappointments strengthened you?
Response – Write down the steps for working through loss and disappointment. Write down Scripture references that go with each step (see above). When trials come refer to this. Respond with a plan. Never give up.
Prayer – Dear Lord, fill me with your strength so that I can keep on going no matter what happens, trusting that you have my present and my future securely in the palm of your hand. Fill me with your joy! In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.