Don't Give Up!

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Dear Friends, 
Don't Give Up!

Have you ever been discouraged during your Christian life? Have you ever felt like giving up? 

One of the areas I can become discouraged is to do with the calling I believe God has given me. I find it hard to keep going when I don't seem to be getting anywhere, when it doesn't feel as though I'm making any difference or impact for God. And I start to think that maybe I should just give up because I have little to show for it. Or I tell myself that I must have misheard God and this isn't what he's called me to.

When it comes to my writing, I am writing for God and my desire is that it will be a blessing and a help to those who read it. Yet, there are times when I think that I'm doing little good with it; so perhaps I should stop and find something else to do instead.

I compare myself to other writers (yes, I know I shouldn't) - what they write is so profound and they have such a way with words. They have a far greater influence for God than I have. They write so much better than me. Perhaps I should just leave it to them.

Have you ever found yourself in a place of discouragement as you seek to do that which God has called you to do? Perhaps it's related to your calling as a parent, or as a paid employee, or a carer,  or your ministry in the church, or something else?

The good news is that I've found God to be my greatest encourager. (And he wants to be your greatest encourager too.) He's aware of those times when I'm discouraged, disheartened or tempted to give up and he sends encouragement my way. It may be in a comment someone makes about my devotional book, or a note someone sends after I've preached on a Sunday morning, or a verse God uses to speak to me. His encouragement is so timely and in his encouragement, he is telling me to keep on keeping on. To not give up. To keep on persevering. What pleases God, more than anything, is my obedience to him. I just have to keep reminding myself that the results are down to him, and he will use my small efforts for his glory.


What can we do during those times when we are discouraged and feel like giving up?

1. Encourage ourselves in God and his Word. I read my Bible daily so that I am in the place where God can speak words of encouragement to me. I also keep a journal to record the things God has said to me. When I'm discouraged, I find it helpful to look back and remind myself of what God has said. It encourages me to keep going, to keep persevering.

So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word. Hebrews 10:23 (AMPC)


2. Read about the lives of men and women in the Bible. Although they lived in a time very different to ours, they are not so different to you and me. We can learn so much from them and be encouraged as we read their life story. We learn about the faithfulness of God, who never changes. We see how they persevered in what God called them to do, despite their struggles, discouragement, and disappointment.

In my imagination, I see the men and women from the past, cheering us on as we live out God's plan for our lives.

In Hebrews 12:1 we read: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us. (AMP)

3. Surround ourselves with 'cheerleaders'. What I mean by this is make sure we have people in our lives who will encourage and support us. I have got a good relationship with people who I would describe as cheerleaders. They help me to keep going. They know the right things to say and how to say them. They hold me up in their prayers.

Not only do we need cheerleaders, we also need to be cheerleaders for others. Let's find ways to cheer people on when they are finding it tough and also when it is going well for them. Let's use words that are positive, that will motivate them to persevere, that will spur them on. Let's remind them of who God is and how he wants to use them for his glory. Let's remind them of God's truth and challenge them when they believe the lies that the devil says to them.

And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities. Hebrews 10:24 (AMPC)

To Think About:
When are the times you have been discouraged? What has caused you to feel this way?

What do you do when you feel discouraged? Is this helpful or unhelpful?

Will you make time to encourage yourself in God and his Word? In what ways does reading about the men and women of the Bible encourage you? Who are the cheerleaders in your life? If you don't have anyone, ask God to provide people who would fill that role.

Would you describe yourself as a cheerleader? Will you look to be that person in others' lives? What are the practical ways you can be a cheerleader for them?

Vicki


If what you read was of interest to you, then you may like to know that my book "Dear Friend...52 Weekly Devotions to Encourage, Challenge and Inspire" is available to buy from Amazon, now on Kindle as well as in paperback. (Its content is material adapted from previous blog posts.) To learn more, click on the link below:


























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