Have you ever felt so hopeless in your life that you almost gave up on something?
Maybe you have and you'll be glad to hear, it's really normal.
I've read stories of Christians who almost gave up on their dreams. I've listened to many brothers and sisters share their stories of giving up on something valuable. I've felt the pang of pain seeing friends give up on the most important thing: their relationship with God.
These stories of quitting and giving up are sad to hear, even sadder when you're the one quitting and giving up. Friend, are you at the brink of quitting on yourself and losing hope?
- Like you'll never be able to overcome that bad habit even after trying so hard to break it?
- Like you'll never be a better person no matter how much you try?
- Like you'll never reach the light at the end of your tunnel?
Friend, I want to encourage you: God can see you through.
As we live our lives here on earth we're faced with countless issues on a daily basis. Not only do we struggle to earn a living, we also struggle to live a life holy and pleasing unto the Lord.
But there is a bad root at the heart of quitting: many of us, in our struggles to live comfortable lives, forsake our pursuit of God. The Bible speaks of this,
"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (1 Timothy 6:10 NKJV)
Some of us, in our pursuit of perfection, end up condemning ourselves for our failures and imperfections. We commit sin, but instead of confessing our sin to God and repenting of it, we beat ourselves up and condemn ourselves as if that's going to help!
Think about what happened to Judas. He didn't ask for forgiveness after seeing that his betrayal would lead to Christ's death. Instead of repenting of his sin, he committed suicide. He didn't return to the Lord!
"Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself." (see Matthew 27:3-5)
Friends, we really wouldn't want any of the two. We wouldn't want to run away from God and find our happiness in earthly possessions. As if earthly possessions and positions can satisfy our longings for something only He can give.
We also wouldn't want to run away from God, and condemn ourselves to live a life that isn't worth living. Worse, killing ourselves to "escape" from our failures will never erase our mistakes.
And similarly, having a legalistic faith where we wrongly believe God expects perfection is very damaging. We are in the process of being sanctified. We are limited. We are not complete yet. We are a work in progress and some deep-rooted issues in us will take time to be healed and resolved. So leaning on God and receiving His forgiving grace is a daily need.
Friends, in all of our troubles, we've got to have hope.
Real, living Hope
Friends, I'm here to encourage you. We have a living hope, and His name is Christ Jesus. He died once for all, and lived again after defeating sin and hopelessness in the grave.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead..." (1 Peter 1:3)
Christ Jesus lives forever, and He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Everything that hails itself "mighty" over you bows down to Him - and yet He loves you so much (see Matthew 28:18; Philippians 2:9-11). Think about that.
If the Father was able to give His one and only begotten Son for our sakes, so that we could be forgiven, made righteous, and be reconciled with Him, what could He not also give what we need, in accordance with our limitations, to live as His children, pleasing in His sight? (see Romans 8:32; 2 Corinthians 5:21, 5:18-20; 1 John 3:1; Luke 12:32)
Friend, this is our hope: that Christ Jesus is alive, and His death and resurrection brings us hope for a life freed from sin, a life full of love from the Father, and a life that will last forever.
Let Him be your hope.
"...Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:27)