5 Questions Before Giving Up
Almost all followers of Jesus have been there. It's common to find yourself exasperated and fighting the temptation to call it quits. When life deals you some unexpected blows, you can be sure that the enemy of your soul will begin to fill your head with lies.
"God doesn't love you. If he did, this wouldn't have happened!
But before we listen to those accusations and falsehoods, we should ask ourselves some questions. If you happen to find yourself in a particularly trying season of life--and are tempted to quit pursuing Christ--please consider these thoughts.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Calling it Quits
Have you told anybody? One of the greatest lies we (and the devil) tell ourselves is that we are alone. In the midst of suffering, we can often feel an overwhelming sense of confusion and loneliness. We feel as if we are left to battle the despair and temptations we are experiencing on our own. Perhaps fear, embarrassment, or pride may keep us from letting other believers know about the struggle we are walking through. Whatever the reason may be, it is not wise (or necessary) to walk through the dark night of the soul alone.
We should be wise about who we open up to, but when we are at our breaking point, someone needs to know. As followers of Christ, we are a part of a family. A family that can encourage us, offer help, and regularly pray on our behalf. Just seeing and understanding that you are not alone will provide some much needed help. Chances are, many who are a part of your family of faith have experienced what you are walking through now. They can help. Don't be silent.
Have you asked for corporate prayer? Despite what we may tell ourselves, we are not self-sufficient. Not only do we need to rely on the help of the Holy Spirit, God has created us to sometimes rely on the help of others. God's Kingdom is set up to function and grow as individuals come together in humility and submission. Some burdens are simply too large to carry on your own. Sometimes we lose heart when we have prayed our guts out and we still have not received an answer. In such situations, the Lord may be directing us to humble ourselves and ask others to come alongside us through the power of prayer. Some wrongly think asking others for help is a sign of weakness or a lack of faith--an idea that is not only unwise, but also unbiblical.
Have you asked the Lord what he is teaching you? Whatever situation we find ourselves in, God is aware of it. Our Heavenly Father uses all types of circumstances to teach us and work eternal truths into our hearts. And often he uses the difficult times to teach us the greatest lessons. Many people have given up because they failed to see what God was doing in or through their trying time. Others have called it quits because they are more concerned with God making the physical world go the way they want it to rather than the work God is seeking to do in their souls. Instead of seeking the Lord for wisdom and inward change, they simply quit when it seems as if God is ignoring their desire for him to change temporary circumstances. Remember, the truth and the work of God in our hearts is far more valuable than anything in this temporary world.
Have you opened yourself up to be knocked out? This is far from an accusation. But we have to talk about this subject. Some believers find themselves on the verge of giving up simply because their pursuit of Christ and holiness has become less and less of a priority. Faithfulness has waned and some other pursuit has taken the place of their faith.
There is no 'neutral' in the Kingdom of God. If you are not going forward, you are going backwards.
As a result, many find themselves angry at God, tangled back up in past sins, and feel as if there is no way forward. But there is. The gospel is just as true today as when you first believed. Jesus cares about you just as much; he is ready to forgive and change you just like he did upon the moment of your salvation.
Have I reminded myself of what's important and true? Think about all the times Jesus has been faithful in the past. Write down all the promises he has kept to you. Memorize Bible verses that directly deal with what you are going through. Preach (out loud) the gospel to yourself everyday. It's easy to forget the promises and truths of God when life is difficult.
And don't forget what is important--eternity with Jesus. Not just for you, but for your children, family, and friends. Don't let a tough and trying time be the reason your kids and/or others miss heaven.
One day you will be eternally glad that you reminded yourself what is truly important; eternally joyful that you persevered through the temptation to quit.