AGAINST GIVING UP!
Sometimes we often struggle with life and with carrying the daily burden. That burden, whether we are believers or not, new or old converts, is something I know beyond any doubt to exist in ANY given Christian’s life. Thus, I feel so happy to say something of it to you.
I struggle in my life. Things are not always straightforward. All is not always bright or as some may prefer to say, ‘Life is not a bed of roses’ (and even if it were, a bed of roses is bound to definitely contain some thorns, isn’t it?).
We have troubles in our social lives, relationships, finances, spiritual lives, educational and even sexual lives. Those troubles sometimes get so extreme that we only increase in anxiety and desperation, and scratch everywhere to get out of that blinding darkness. We hurt both others and ourselves in that process, and I believe, at times, God too.
But we tend to forget that a time comes, or already has, when God says something over your life. He cares not over the circumstances or predicaments, but the word of God just follows through over every aspect!
Now if the word of God is said (according to the Bible of course) to ‘not return to me (God) fruitless’, what does that mean for you and your situation, whatever it may be?
It means even before your struggle, you are already a victor. ‘The battle is mine’ says the Lord, and He (along with you) is surely victorious even before the battle. Apostle Paul says ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’, for he not only knew but also believed how God had enable him by saying something in his life (which he said at his conversion from Saul). Still on Apostle Paul, whom I admire very much for going through personal battles and struggles: remember how he once said ‘We are often troubled but not crushed, sometimes in doubt but never in despair. There are many enemies but we are never without a friend; and though hurt at times, we are not destroyed’ (2Corinthians 4v8-9)?
Personally I believe as long as you are a Christian who has at some point believed in God, and furthermore if you have heard him say or seen him do something in your life (which is our testimony and foundation of faith), then no matter how difficult, bad, messed up, screwed (you name it) your life was, is or will be, then whilst you can indeed be worried over it (it’s normality), you have no reason to lose hope whatsoever. Look at Jesus: he once said ‘Foxes have holes and hares have burrows but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head’. Is that not enough explanation of how Jesus’ life was so not ‘a bed of roses’ but actually riddled with personal problems? Yet he vowed to survive them, to which we today are glad witnesses and proclaimers?
If you are thinking of giving up and letting your problems take control over you, then I want to tell you this also: Judas Iscariot was a man who was called by, walked with and believed in Jesus. He heard the teachings and saw the miracles, but one day he fell out and sold the Savior. This led Judas to later be overcome by grief that he resorted to hanging himself. Why did he hang himself? Because he no longer had hope - he gave up! Today he is seen as a sinful man. Why? Because of all things, Judas lost hope and faith. Perhaps he could have received God’s mercy, ‘for the Lord is gracious and compassionate and slow to anger…’, but Judas could not allow the Lord to say something and swiftly acted in anxiety and anger, thus he sinned the more.
Another good example, yet completely opposite to Judas’ failure, is the success of a man named Job. He went through many trials, troubles and tribulations, mocked by friends and family, up to the day when the faithful God restored on him his prosperity (Praise God!). Imagine if Job had given up, hung himself as Judas, mocked God, etc. What shame would it have brought to God, and the destruction over Job?
When I was in my lower grades at school, my class’ motto was ‘Try, try, try again. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.’
Try. Just try. Keep trying. Keep trying again. And again!
Say ‘I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord’ (Psalm 118v17).
Therefore, I encourage you, friend, in whatever you are going through, to not let God down by giving up, but to endure for a great testimony. After all, He is the Alpha and Omega - he will surely finish whatever work he starts in you.
By Bothwell Masitoko.