Giving Up or Going On


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.

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.

Not a question of “If” afflictions will come, but rather “when?”


When Times are Tough….

Understand what afflictions are and where they come from.

They have a life span.  How we handle them determines how long they last.

So…. If we are Born Again, Afflictions will come.

When they do, what will you do?

We have set our course.   We have made our declaration.  We will press toward the mark for the prize

We have been in training.  We have heard great teaching.  We have heard good preaching.  We have been exposed to the best God has to prepare us for what is about to come forth.   We have been around a while.  We are not novices.    He has provided us with Revelation.   We are, at this very moment, a vital part of His Divine Purpose and Plan for this hour.

Things will change.  Pressures will build.  Situations will happen.  And 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.   It is always easier to cop out than to cope. 

The greatest temptation any Believer faces is the temptation to quit or back off when afflictions arise. The pressures and stresses of maintaining your Victory Stand may build to the point of breaking.  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?”  Is there a way out when we are at the breaking point?  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.

John 6:66   From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Jesus wondered if his own disciples were going to quit.  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?

This is an issue we need to face today.  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?

This is not hard to do and it is always a temptation especially when things really get tough.  When the demands of Jesus become costly.  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?   What will it take to make you quit?  How much more “can you stand?”  Do you have your price?  What will it take for you to sell out?  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.  I like to make bold confessions… especially when I do not feel like doing it.  It seems foolish and impractical, but it is the Thing To Do.  And there is Scriptural evidence to support such an act.  David did it.   Moses did it.  Joshua did it.  So I can do it.  And you can do it.  Let’s do it now.

Let’s make a declaration.  Let’s take a stand.  Let’s announce to hell.  Let’s resolve….  I WILL NOT QUIT.  I WILL NEVER QUIT.  I AM HERE TO STAY…. NO MATTER WHAT.

Now, it’s settled.  It’s settled on earth, in hell and in heaven.  It’s settled in your heart.

2. You can compromise.

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.   It is to start with a blast and then fizzle out.  It is to be mediocre.   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 make a deal with the devil.   

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. 

When you receive a revelation that revelation demands a response.  When you hear something and you know it’s for you and it’s from God, that moment and that message demands a response.    No response is really a response.  No action is really an action.  You cannot “do nothing” and escape compromising the Truth.  Nothing is easier to do, requires less effort and less determination that simply staying stuck where you are and compromising that which you know God is prompting you to do. 

You can stop and get stuck where you are. You can retreat and give up ground that you have fought for and won.  Compromise is an alternative.  A real alternative.  A tempting alternative.   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.  To compromise is to pull your faith in when you get stepped on.  It is to sit down when God is saying get up and go for it. 

What is that thing (usually it is only one thing) that is preventing you from getting up and going on?  It is that thing that the devil continually throws in your way and blocks your path to victory and fulfillment.  Are you willing to deal with that issue now?  Are you brave and courageous enough today to face off with the devil?  To have a confrontation with those demonic threats and intimidations?  To call the devil’s hand?  To get off the defensive and rush into the offensive?  I believe God brought you here at this time to get free.  To, once and for all, kick the devil in the face and make hell get out of your way.  Will 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 can become more concerned about YOU than you are concerned about OTHERS.    You can hunker down in your little world with your little problems and your little faith, suck your little pacifier and watch yourself in the mirror as you grimace, frown, whimper and cry a tear or two.   This, friend, is selfishness of the first order.     

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 lead you to assuming things and becoming sarcastic.  It will rob you of your joy, contribute to your misery and give great pleasure to the devil. 

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 nearly 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.   

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…”    

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.      There are other things you can do.  There are other things you should do.  Sometimes, I need to shake myself.  To jolt my complacency.   I need to wake up.

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?   


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 you are not in conflict with the powers of darkness, then you are headed the wrong way.

There are literally thousands of believers standing in tough times.  Facing impossibilities.  Staring down devils.  Our worst problems are like nothing compared with some of the problems others are facing…  


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 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.  


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.   You are requested and expected to ENDURE.    

 “He that endureth unto the end shall be saved…”   Mt 10:22


Remember your victories in the past.   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?  I remember:

  • How God healed our sicknesses for years when we had no insurance
  • How God stood delivered us in the midst of controversy over the Baptism of the Holy Ghost as a Baptist Preacher…
  • How God fed us and paid our bills during the early years of our ministry.  25.00 a week salary.  How we lived nearly 40 years without a salary from the church.   
  • How God met our need in every building project in spite of vicious and relentless attacks of the enemy against our integrity and honesty.  How we Won every Battle and came out stronger and bigger and better.
  • How in 53 years of ministering in Mobile we have weathered the storm and stood the test and won the victory.  In spite of criticism and scandalizing and gossip and lies and threats and intimidation… When others failed and retreated and caved in…WE ARE STILL HERE AND WE ARE STRONGER.



“Gird up your loins” and renew 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 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.    

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.   

Be as persistent as the 3 Hebrew Children:     

Be as unwavering as David when he faced his giant (His impossible situation)


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.     

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.

Let’s take an oath of allegiance:   

“I solemnly promise to go on with God.  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 remain faithful to the end… so help me God.”  

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