“I’m not getting anywhere. I still fail. I just don’t know if it’s worth it. By now I know all the right things to do, but I don’t do them. Sometimes I deliberately do something mean-spirited or unkind. I’m so discouraged, and I fail God so many times. What kind of Christian am I?”
Have you asked yourself with such questions? Or thought of such things and said some phrases like that? ‘Cause I did!
A lot of us experience failures and discouragements in our lives. Nobody’s exempted from those, even Christians. We all know that they are part of our growing-up-stage but still, we’re not used to them. Instead, we tend to feed them all the more with our negative thoughts that lead us to over thinking and murmuring about our situation. If we’re not careful and diligent, we allow the enemy (satan) to point to what we haven’t accomplished and where we have been weak – that’s the trick of the enemy – to make us think of our defects and shortcomings. When that happens, it’s easy to feel bad or want to give up.
We seem to think that holy-victorious-living comes from one major victory after another. Yes, we do have times when we have great breakthroughs; however, most of our victories come slowly. They come little by little. It’s as if we inch forward. Because we move slowly in our growth (in terms of being matured enough as an individual and in spiritual aspect), that we are often unaware of how far we have moved. Right?
I, too, have these kinds of dark moments in my life. I am afraid of failures, afraid of rejection and get easily discouraged when I do not make it. I have a lot of “what ifs” in mind and over thinking kills me mostly in my idle time. It didn’t happen once, nor twice, but I experienced this a lot to the point that I can’t even remember its actual count. But the Lord is gracious and revealed His words – His encouragement and promise – through the exhortation of Apostle Paul in Galatians 6:9,
And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.
Apostle Paul strongly appealed to us “not to lose heart” and “keep on fighting“. Because life is a struggle, and the enemy is determined to defeat and destroy us. We don’t ever reach the place where we never have to fight. But it’s not just our fight. Jesus is not only with us, but He is for us. He’s at our side to strengthen us and to urge us onward.
DON’T QUIT. DON’T GIVE UP. That’s the message we need to hear. I think of the words of Isaiah:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.”
Isaiah 43:1b-2 NKJV
This is God’s promise. He doesn’t promise to take us completely out of our troubles or hardships. But He does promise to be with us as we go through them. “Fear not,” He says. That’s the message we need to ponder. We don’t need to fear because God is with us. And when God is with us, what is there to worry about?
Real talk: All of us failed at times. None of us is perfect. On the other hand, no matter how we mess up our lives, God doesn’t give up on us. So the moment you feel like giving up – not just for that very moment but in every day of your life – look at the mirror and say this helpful mantra (which I’ve heard from Pastor Ace of Equippers Church):
“Don’t quit now, quit tomorrow. It’s always too early to quit.”
Remember that you have come this far, is it worth it for you to quit now?