Don’t Give Up!

Hiking the ridgeline to Star Dune, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
Hiking the ridgeline to Star Dune, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” Galatians 6:9.

For some people, it seems we have been pressing on for a very long time.  Some parts of the world have been under lockdown for a year and a half now, and the news is more dire lockdown and COVID restrictions looming in the future.  Don’t give up now.  God can bring beauty out of ashes, no matter how sinful or immoral or devastating the world around us.

Marshmallows can come out of ashes, too!  Tiadaghton State Forest, Pennsylvania
Marshmallows can come out of ashes, too! Tiadaghton State Forest, Pennsylvania

Others of us have been believing God for things for a very long time.  It’s not that we’ve come to disbelieve what God is going to do, but it’s been so long in coming that we’ve almost come to believe that things will never change.  Time has numbed our senses, and that promise that was so dear to us has dimmed in our hearts.  Let me say this: Don’t give up.  God will most certainly come through and bring about what He has promised.  Abram left His father’s house, but he never owned the land God promised him (other than the cave where he buried Sarah).  Yet God brought about the miracles that fulfilled what He had promised Abraham. (See Genesis 12; 23; etc.)

So much for that view... Owl Point, Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon
So much for that view… Owl Point, Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon

Sometimes the hardest hours of believing God for what He has promised us are right before they come to fulfillment.  Whether this is because the spiritual warfare is more intense or because we are growing weary in the waiting: Don’t give up.  David lost his wife, children, and his home right before he became king. (See 1 Samuel 30.)

Sunset at the Death Valley Ranch, California
Sunset at the Death Valley Ranch, California

Part of winning the battle for what God has promised us is just showing up.  It can be easy to turn away, especially when things aren’t going well.  It’s easy to give up; to throw in the towel and go do something else.  But we’ll never win a battle we don’t show up for.  That doesn’t mean we have to verbally scream out God’s promise every time we see something to the contrary.  But it does mean that we have to be ready to hold onto what God said and keep on believing it and moving toward it, maybe even every single day.  Don’t give up.  Remember that our fight is not against people, “but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms… demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage.” (Ephesians 6:12 TPT).

Mt. Wilber from the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana

It can be tempting to ask God for something new to believe for – we’ve believed for so long and seen so little that we want a new assignment.  Don’t give up.  God calls us to both long-term and short-term assignments.  Jeremiah was a prophet for most of his life.  Mary was called to be the mother of Christ – that didn’t end when He reached 18 or even when He began His public ministry.  Yet Elijah was sent on a temporary assignment to anoint Hazael as king over Aram.  God can even bring the years-old assignments suddenly back into focus and fulfillment.

Trail in the Trona Pinnacles, California

People may not understand why you are still believing and pursuing what God has spoken to you.  They will make up reasons for why your belief and battle are “unhealthy” or even “sinful.”  They will point out sin (real or fake) or heart-stances that they say are either 1) keeping your promise from fulfillment, or 2) contributing to why you can’t move beyond what God has promised you.  Deal with your sin.  Don’t let anything get between yourself and Jesus.  But you don’t have to believe a lie.  Don’t give up.  David was called a “murderer,” a “worthless and evil man” who was being repaid for taking over Saul’s kingdom when Absalom tried to become king (1 Samuel 16:7-8).  It wasn’t true; God promised the kingdom to David and kept it in his hands despite the attempt on his life.

Flowers at the Willowood Arboretum in Chester, New Jersey
Flowers at the Willowood Arboretum in Chester, New Jersey

Even as you don’t give up, remember that the promise is not the end.  If you can’t be satisfied with what you have now, then you still won’t be satisfied when the promise is fulfilled.  God is all we need, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  But even in the middle of longing for the promise – Don’t give up!