Giving Up or Going On


 Ps. 34:19   Many are the afflictions  (hurts, troubles, adversities, sadnesses) of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth (rescues, recovers) him out of them all.

Tough times are common for Believers.  They are a New Birth Mark.  “Many are the afflictions of the righteous…”

They are not evidence of God’s displeasure or the results of God’s Judgment.  They are weapons of the enemy to keep you from going on.

They have a life span.  They will “come to pass” They did not come to stay.  Tough times do not last… tough Believers do.

How we handle them determines how long they last.

They are devices of the devil and are his methods and strategies designed to destroy your faith.

The “many afflictions” that are with us simply identify us as “the righteous.”  If we are “the righteous” then we can expect “many afflictions.” And we are promised total deliverance from them ALL… not by what we do but by what God does.

  • Afflictions will come.
  • Trials will come.
  • Temptations will come.
  • Hard times will come.
  • You will be emotionally hurt and wounded. 
  • Grief will come.
  • Impossibilities will come.

When they do, what will you do?

There will be times in your Christian Life when you wonder what is happening.  Things will get spooky.  Situations will get out of control.  The more you try to reel in the problem, the more tangled your line gets.  In the process, you will get tired and weary and impatient.  You will begin to wonder if it is really worth it all.  Discouragement will move in and satan will begin to make you tempting offers and alternatives.  Pursuing God is not an easy thing… The way into Life is Narrow and Straight and only a few will find it according to Jesus.  Sometimes, the way to get relief seems to be just to quit.  To forget it.  To retreat.  To back down.  It is always easier to cop out than to cope.   Situations and circumstances may develop that will press you beyond measure and push you “over the edge.”  How are believers to handle such situations?  What are we to do when we are pressed beyond measure?  Where can we go to get some “relief?”     What are our alternatives?

Here are your options.

1.  You can Quit. 

You can fold up.  You can collapse.  You can cave in.  You really can.  It is possible.  It is an option you have. 

Jesus wondered if his own disciples were going to quit.

Joh 6:67  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

It looked like they were going to do what everyone else was doing… they were going to leave.  Back out.  Go back.  Just because following Jesus became a challenge.  A hard thing.  A dividing thing.  A costly thing.  “Are you leaving, too?”  “Will you also go away?”  “Are you going to follow the crowd?”  I’ve wondered at times how many will quit. 

We have faced some formidable obstacles… some costly ones… some demanding ones.     We are nearing the Promised Land… we are close to entering in.  This is when the pressures build and the temptations come.  Will you quit?  Will you throw in the towel?  Will you take a dive?

To quit is  the easiest thing to do and it offers the least resistance.  Anybody can quit.  You can quit.  We can quit.  Many have and others will.  What about you?  Has satan “got your number?”  What will it take to make you quit?  How much more “can you stand?”  Are you at your breaking point?  Is quitting a real temptation for you this morning?  Some who are listening are right at the “giving up” and “quitting” stage.  I know it.  I feel it.  I sense it. 

I have learned over the years that the best way to overcome the temptation to quit is to do something radical.  Something weird.  Something unusual.  Something that is not natural.  “Why you can’t do that…. You’re too old!”   “You should not take the risk, you could be hurt, after all look how old you are.”  “Other people your age would never do that!”  To me “age” does not exist.  I relate to “time” not chronology or age.  And my time is NOW.  For my life and for my ministry.   

Now what will you do?  It’s decision time.  What you decide today will determine the outcome of the rest of your life.  Are you going to Quit or are you Going On?

2. You can compromise and get mad at God.

To compromise is to settle for something less than God’s Best. To be content and satisfied with less than God’s Will for you.  To compromise is to waver in your commitment to God.  It is to be half-hearted.  It is to start with a blast and then fizzle out.  It is to be mediocre.  It is to be lukewarm.  It is to be less than what God wants and less than what God demands. 

To compromise is to look for and settle for the easy way out.  The comfortable way out.  The way of “least resistance.”  To compromise is to refuse to come out of your “comfort zone.”  To compromise is to hit the snooze button when God says, “get up.”  To compromise is to make a deal with the devil.  To cut some slack with hell.  To listen to the voice that says:  “don’t take this God stuff too seriously… after all, it’s going to blow over… it will pass away… it won’t last.  Don’t get involved in all this emotional hype.  It can’t last…”

To compromise is to fail the test.  To compromise is to cheat.  To compromise is to consider self more than God. 

satan is probably saying to you right now…”if you will back off, I will back off!”  “If you will ease up, i will ease up…”  “If  you will slow down, i will slow down.”  You can back down and ease up and let off. 

You can stop and get stuck where you are.  You can be still and placid.  You can retreat and give up ground that you have fought for and won.  Compromise is an alternative.  A real alternative.  A tempting alternative.  But a disastrous alternative.  You can slip back and fall back and go back.    To compromise is to backslide.  To compromise is to stay put.  To compromise is to be comfortable.  To compromise is to be satisfied.  To compromise is to cool off.  To simmer down.  To change what you believe because of what is happening around you.

3.  You can feel sorry for yourself and give in to self-pity. 

You can become introverted… introspective.  You can be so caught up in your own problem that that is all you think about.    You become insensitive to the call of God and the Move of God.  You can become more concerned about YOU than you are concerned about OTHERS.  This is self-pity and it is a sin.  It is selfishness.  It is wrong and it is abusive.  Abusive to others.  Abusive to God.  Abusive to your testimony.  Abusive to your church.

Looking inward can make you compare yourself with others.  Then it can make you mad at others because they are not having it as hard as you are.   It will make you Jealous of others.  It can cause you to be hurt with others.  It will rob you of your joy and contribute to your misery.  It will consume you and cripple you if you do not deal with it. 

It can even make you mad with God.  You will begin to wonder about the wicked getting blessed and others getting blessed (that are not working as hard as you are or doing as much as you) and you can get mad with God.   Really mad.  Upset.  Disgusted.  Then you will get mean and ornery and hateful.  You will begin to feed on the sympathy that others give you.  Next comes the grumbling and the griping and the criticizing.    All because you got into self-pity.  It will shut off the love flow.  It will stifle your compassion.  It will make you miserable and everybody around you miserable.  It will affect your home, your job, your relationships.      

This is an option you have… but it is not a good one. 

4.  OR… you can turn your problems into Opportunities to trust God.  

You can wake up.  Shake yourself.   “Come to yourself…”  (Like the prodigal son)  You can suck it up, reach way down and decide to change things for the better.

You can make your “situations” a test track for the Word of God.  You can stand and sing and shout and refuse to accept defeat.  You can endure and count it all joy when you come into temptations and trials.  You can see every impossible situation as an opportunity to defeat the devil.   You do not have to quit.  You do not have to slow down.  You do not have to give up. You do not have to give in.  YOU CAN GO ON.  You can FINISH the RACE and COMPLETE the COURSE.  You can ACCOMPLISH what God created you to accomplish. 

You are CALLED.  You are COMMISSIONED.  You have a REASON and a PURPOSE for being born.  God is challenging you to “see the invisible and do the impossible.”  Knowing this, let’s declare with the Apostle Paul:

Phil 3: 13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Ok… so you have decided not to quit.  You have decided not to compromise.  You have decided not to feel sorry for yourself.  You have decided to turn your problems into Opportunities to trust God… NOW:  HOW do you do it?  

FIRST…. Understand that you are not the only Believer facing a tough situation.  You are not by yourself.      The very fact that you are tempted to Quit is a good sign…  If nothing is happening to you then you are doing nothing for the Kingdom.  If the devil is not moving, then you are not moving.  If demons are not stirring, then you are not stirring.  If you are not in conflict with the powers of darkness, then you are headed the wrong way.

Ps. 34:19   Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

1Cor. 10:13   There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Our worst problems are like nothing compared with some of the problems others are facing… what if going to church was a life-threatening thing?  What if we lived in the midst of radical Christian-hating religious fanatics?  What if living for God carried any life-threatening risks?  Literally thousands are paying for their faith in other parts of the world. 

SECOND... never expect your Faith Walk to be easy.  You have not chosen an easy way of life.   To live by the Word is the most disciplined life a man or woman can know.  It demands making the flesh take a back seat.  It requires sacrifice, commitment, dedication, discipline.  Every devil in hell is poised to attack.  All the forces of darkness are set in array against you… demon powers have zeroed in on you because you have become a threat to them…. REJOICE and be EXCEEDINGLY GLAD.  SHOUT.  SING.  DANCE.  RUN.  LEAP.  

THIRD... Review your Salvation Contract with God.  If you will, you will see that there is no provision for quitting in it.  When you got saved, you made a Life Commitment to God with no strings attached.  There were no “what ifs” or “just in cases” or other conditional clauses in the Contract.  God did His part.  Jesus did His part.  The Holy Ghost did His part.  The Salvation Contract calls for you to do your part.  You are expected to ENDURE.  “He that endureth unto the end shall be saved…”  “Do not grow weary and faint in your minds…”  “Having done all, Stand!…”  “He that dwelleth in the Secret Place of the Most High shall abide under the Shadow of the Almighty…”

FOURTH... Remember your victories in the past.  See how God delivered you from the “hand of the lion and the hand of the bear…”  That is what David did as he faced the Uncircumcised Heathen Giant   Can you recall any times in the past when God came through for you Big Time?

REMEMBER YOUR PAST VICTORIES.  

FIFTH… You need to REPENT for even considering quitting.  To even think about going back.  It is an affront to God.  It slanders every promise in the Word of God.   

You do not have the RIGHT to quit.   We do not have the privilege of coping out.  You cannot legally cancel your commitment to God.  You are bound by your Promise.  If you have quit, REPENT, and come back.  If you are considering quitting REPENT and stop considering it.  Quitters are losers.  And losers are quitters.  

SIXTH… Rededicate your efforts to Keep on Keeping on.

Renew your mind so that you can think right in the middle of your tight situation.  If you allow your situation to dictate how you think and how you feel you will fail and you will quit.  If you allow your mind to be renewed by the Word of God so that you will think like God thinks then you will not quit.  God did not Quit.  Jesus did not Quit.  The Holy Ghost did not Quit.  The Word did not Quit.  Aren’t you glad they didn’t? 

Be a non-conformist.  Be a radical.  Be different.  Don’t yield to the pressures and allow them to make you back down.  Make your boldest confession in the midst of your darkest trial.  You do not have to be like everybody else.    Be as persistent as the 3 Hebrew Children:  “I will not bow I will not bend… go ahead and heat the furnace and throw us in… God will deliver us out of the fire and out of your hand, devil.”  Be as unwavering as David when he faced his giant (we all have our giants to face, amen?)

 “Thou comest to me with a sword and with a spear and with a shield: but I come to thee in the Name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied… (your situations have defied the Lord God Most High.)

This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand and I will smite thee and take thine head from thee and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines

THIS DAY unto the fowls of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth that ALL MAY KNOW there is a GOD IN ISRAEL…

for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands…”  (I Samuel 17:45-47) 

“Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude (your situations) for the battle is not your’s, but God’s…”  (II Chron. 20:15) 

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shall condemn…”  (Isa. 54:17)

FINALLY… Rejoice and praise God for the Victory even before it comes!!  Sing and shout.  Leap and dance.  Run and jump.  Rejoice and praise God right where you are before you see any signs of relief. 

Get you some banners and flags.  Paint you some posters.  Hang out some ribbons.  Advertise your victory before you get it.  Buy you a billboard!! Let God see that you are committed to winning and overcoming. 

You can never embarrass God with your Faith.  Persist.  Press through.  Stretch.  See your victory in the eyes of your spirit.  See it so real that you can shout about it.  Sincere, heart-felt praise always precedes victory!!  I command you right now in the Name of Jesus to REFUSE DEFEAT and to CHOOSE VICTORY. “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore CHOOSE LIFE, that both thou and thy seed may live…!  (Deut. 30:19)

Let’s take our oath of allegiance:  (Stand up and put your right hand on the Bible…)

“I solemnly promise to go on with God.  I promise to actively pursue God and His Divine Purpose for me.  I vow before heaven and earth and hell that I will never retreat.  I will never back up.  I will never slow up.  I will never give up.  I will protect, defend and support to the death  (if necessary) this End Time Move of God.  I will remain faithful to the end… so help me God.”  

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