IF YOU’RE GOING TO GIVE-IN, AT LEAST DO IT PROPERLY!
What has God put you on this planet for? Chances are you don’t have to stress too much about discovering it. You have probably already found that God has placed within you certain abilities, certain passions, which cause you to continually see the same need. Chances are also that when you apply yourself to meeting those needs you have gained a tremendous sense of satisfaction and fulfilment in the process. Yet, despite this, there will occasionally be times of discouragement when all you want to do is give-up. But it’s at these times when you must especially be careful to do it properly!
Joseph was given a dream from God that he would one day become a powerful governor. After spending more than ten years in an Egyptian prison, we would have forgiven him for giving up and for thinking that God had abandoned him. But if he had, he would have missed his moment! Joseph remained faithful to God, day in, and day out.
Moses was called to be the deliverer of Israel from Egypt. But he made a mistake and failed. This led him to flee into the desert. I wonder if he thought that God would rescue him from his woes in a short time. But he didn’t hear from God again for another 40 years! He never completely gave-up!
It seems to me that the most successful people are those who have learned to hang-in when the temptation to give-in is nearly overwhelming. They are prepared to give to take one more step, have one more go, knock on one more door, write one more song, play one more tournament, do one more day.
I recently spoke with a successful businessman who had gone four months without making a dollar in his new business. He had exhausted his reserves and had lay off each of his staff. Despondent but not despairing he gave it one more shot. “I was ready to throw it all in and stack shelves in a supermarket” he said. “But then God gave me a break. I met someone I could help. That led to another person I could help, and then another who referred me to another. In the first three months of this year I’ve done $17,000,000 worth of transactions and am on track to generate over a million dollars in profits this year!”
Not all of us are in business, but we should all be in God’s business of helping others in Jesus’ Name. Yet when you’re trying to do good by others and help them, it can get quite discouraging when they don’t appreciate it or are even rude in return. I recently heard Jossy Chacko tell his story of having a Christian Grandmother who prayed fervently for young Jossy to come to know Christ. Jossy ridiculed such praying. He told his ageing Grandmother not to waste her time on him. But she kept going – month after month, year after year. She died never seeing the answer to her prayers for her Grandson. Today though, Jossy is an in-demand preacher and conference speaker who heads up the Empart Church Planting organisation which helps to facilitate over 9,000 churches across northern India.
We should not easily lose heart in our pursuit of doing the will of God.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
This admonition not only applies to each of us, it also especially applies to us as a church. Too many churches are set back because someone gives up after taking offence at something someone said or did (or didn’t say or didn’t do). It’s too easy to give up on each other or those who are trying to reach. The cousin of not giving up is patience. There will be some people we will reach who will take years and years to see won to the Lover Of Their Soul. Whenever I get frustrated with some of the things that our non-Christian politicians say, I have to remind myself to pray for their salvation and be patient. When the story of our church is told to generations to come – long after you and I have gone onto our true Home – I trust we will be remembered for our faithful prayer and proclamation to our generation and that we didn’t give up. The proper way to give-up is to at least give it one more shot.
Pastor Andrew Corbett