It’s too hard. You’re tired. Nothing’s changing. In fact, things may be getting worse.
You’ve prayed for that prodigal child for so long with no apparent results. Or your marriage is broken into a million pieces. Maybe your financial situation is a wreck, your health is fragile, or your spiritual life is hanging by a thread.
You’re losing hope, and you’re weary. So weary.
I know how you feel. I’ve been in hard places where every day is difficult and some days I didn’t even want to get out of bed. My emotional wires were strung so tightly that I feared I might burst into tears at the slightest provocation. And sometimes I did.
I’ve prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and I've wondered if anyone was listening, cared, or was working on my behalf.
Today and in the next blog post, I’d like to give you four reasons not to quit.
Reason 1: Things are happening in the spiritual realm you can’t see. We are limited to only what we can see with our eyes, but God works in places and in ways we can’t see. Jesus said he is always at work (John 5:17). One of my favorite examples of this is the story of Elisha as told in 2 Kings 6:14-17.
The prophet Elisha was in trouble with the king. So much trouble that the king had ordered his soldiers to go to Dothan and capture him.
“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city.
“‘Oh, my lord, what shall we do?’ the servant asked.
“‘Don't be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’"
Are you crazy? the servant must have thought. I see soldiers with scary weapons and more horses and chariots than I’ve ever seen in my life. More with us than with them? Uh, in case you can’t count, there are two of us, and there are hundreds of them. Any way I figure it, we’re outnumbered—badly.
“And Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
If you’re honoring and obeying God as best you can, he promises to work on your behalf. Though you may not see his hand at work, you can be confident that he is moving heaven and earth to ensure that his perfect will is done in your situation.
You can’t quit because things are happening in the spiritual realm you can’t see.
Reason 2: God will honor your commitment.
Galatians 6:9 is my go-to verse when I consider quitting:
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Sowing seeds we hope will sprout into a spiritual harvest in our children, our families, our marriages, our work, our communities, and our ministries is an act of faith. We work and work and work, and sometimes we see absolutely no results. But that doesn’t mean nothing’s happening.
One of the rarest flowers on earth is a plant called the Amorphophallus Titanum. It’s also one of the largest flowers on earth and takes 40 years to bloom. Scientists who cultivate it say there are no visible signs to tell them anything’s happening with this flower until almost immediately before it blooms.
But when it blooms, whooooeeeee! It’s so big and beautiful that people line up and wait for hours just for a glimpse of it.
This is often true when the seeds we’ve sown finally bear fruit. It’s big, beautiful, and dramatic enough that people can’t stop talking about it.
Franklin Graham is another powerful example of this. Headstrong and worldy, he wasted the early years of his life as a prodigal. He forsook everything his parents modeled, taught, and preached and lived in rebellion and disobedience.
Then the seeds his parents had sown into his life began to take root. And sprout. And grow. One day the Holy Spirit convicted him of his sin, and he surrendered his life to Christ. Now he is the founder of Samaritan’s Purse Ministries and Operation Christmas Child, a world-renowned speaker, and a powerful force for Christ in today’s dark world.
You can’t quit because God promises to honor your commitment.
In my next post, I'll share two more reasons why you (and I) can't quit. In the meantime, please know I am praying for you.
For a little added encouragement, here's Mandisa.
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