Preaching Articles

Have you ever wanted to call it quits? We all have – every single one of us has gone through a time when giving up seemed like the best, more promising option.

It happens when the press of people’s opinions suffocates our lives or when the crushing demand of others’ expectations squelches our spirits. Couple those with our own sense of inadequacy and it all comes spiraling down … and the words “I quit” seem as the natural next step.

But that’s not true!

Jesus Shows Up

When you’re ready to call it quits, Jesus shows up. Mark my words; He shows up!

Your eyes may not recognize Him at first, but He’s there. If you’ll listen, His voice will cut through the fog, but you’ll have to incline your ear. You could easily ignore His voice; you can even deny His voice. But when you’re lost, He’ll show you the way out … if you’ll follow. When you’re ready to call it quits, Jesus will speak to you. Or, more accurately, He’ll speak to the spirit of defeat you’ve allowed to take residence within you.

“Simon Peter said to them, ‘I’m going back fishing’ […] that night they caught nothing. But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the shore, yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus” (John 20:1).

When Peter realized that indeed it was Jesus, he jumped out of the boat, swam to the Lord and, finding the Lord sitting at a fire with some fish, sat and stared. The Lord asked him again, “Peter, what have I called you to do?”

Jesus asked Peter the same question He had asked the first time He cam across Peter and his empty nets. And there they sat, on the same sandy shore, after three dynamic years of world-changing ministry. Yet, Jesus had to ask the same question.

And in doing so, Jesus restored Peter to his original call. This will be the very first step to take when you want to call it quits:

Return to Your Original Call

Go back to your original call. When Peter was ready to call it quits, Jesus called to him a second time from the lakeside. He reminded Peter of the fist call.

“Do not fear, from now on, you will be catching men. And when they brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him” (Luke 5:10).

As soon as Peter met Jesus, he was given his call: to become a fisher of men. No, it wasn’t going to be easy, but it was clear.

Sometimes, God has to bring us back to our original call by cutting everything else out. Sometimes, you don’t realize that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have. And if we refuse to realize that, He lovingly cuts everything out in order to correct us back to that assurance.

God will always provide all the grace you will need for the assignment He has called you to do. When we move outside of God’s grace, we choose to move toward discouragement, bitterness and depression. When you’re ready to call it quits, that’s a warning light that you’ve been adrift.

Run to the Lord

Run toward God, not away from Him. It’s a natural tendency for us to run away when we’ve sold out and find ourselves at the end of a bad decision and its terrible consequences.

When you’re ready to call it quits, you will not know what to do, so don’t try to figure it out. You may not be in the position to hear, but you are in a position to heal. But first you must do one thing: cry out to God; let it all go, give it over to God.

The first step in overcoming an impossible situation when you want to call it quits is to return to your original call. The second step is to run to the Lord. And finally, Jesus said, “Now, move forward in faith.”

Move Forward in Faith

“Master, we worked hard all night, but at your bidding we will let down the nets” (Luke 5:5).

“At your bidding” – these words prove that Peter didn’t want to do it. He didn’t feel like doing it because he didn’t have the energy left to do it.

There are going to be times when you don’t feel like doing something but because God asks you to, you do. Sometimes we need to revisit things that came up empty the first time. The Lord will turn you back and say, “Yes, it came up empty but, if you’ll do this at My bidding and not because you’re expecting results, then you’ll find the catch.” And when you revisit it with this pure motivation, you’ll indeed find the catch.

There are times in our lives when, like Peter, we want to call it quits. That’s okay if you’re quitting those things God wants to deliver you from. But to call it quits for the other reasons—to look good or to be in control—may not be God’s best for your life.

My encouragement to you is to relinquish our life with reckless abandonment and entrust your future to Jesus. Don’t call it quits and don’t try to do it on your own. Simply surrender to Him; when you want to call it quits, discover the life-saving power of Jesus.

Wayne Cordeiro is the founding pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii with   over 14,500 in weekend attendance. New Hope is also listed as one of the top ten most innovative churches in America with Outreach magazine, listing them as one of the “top five churches to learn    from.” New Hope is known for redeeming the arts and technology. Over 3000 attend services each    week via the Internet, and New Hope has seen over 73,000 first-time decisions in Hawaii since its inception 26 years ago.

He has authored ten books, including such classics as Doing Church as a Team, Dream Releasers, Seven Rules of Success, Attitudes That Attract Success, Divine Mentor, Leading on Empty and The Encore Church. Wayne is also the author of the Life Journal, which is being used by thousands of churches worldwide, is bringing people back to the Word of God.

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Talk about it...

Jeff Strite

commented on Jul 2, 2011

One thing that has helped ministers in our group has been a "coffee clatch" where we get together and work on our sermons together. Aside from sharing the research on our messages... but the bi-product has been the encouragement we can offer to each other.

Manuel Mapa

commented on Jul 2, 2011

Thank you!

Dennis Meyette

commented on Jul 3, 2011

what happens when you (the pastor) doesn't want to quit, but is pressured to quit because a handful of people in a small church that do'nt like the direction your going? That's what happened to me. Because of challenging financial circumstances, some people get anxious about not paying the mortgage and so they demand your resignation so that they don't have to pay you.... thus they now can pay the mortgage. While I agree with Wayne, circumstances often are something else. In the denomination and church I serve in, often it becomes the building or the pastor... the pastor always loses. What happend to Jesus!!

Sterling Franklin

commented on Jul 3, 2011

The John 21 passage has been convicting in my own life of sticking to the call that God has given me, as is 1 Thess 5:24

Dr. Ronald Shultz

commented on Jul 3, 2011

Dennis, if was time to go. Had it not been God's will the people involved would have left or they would have recanted their position. Sometimes it is just time to leave even if you do not want to go.

Kirk Davis

commented on Jul 3, 2011

Sometimes Gods uses things such as finances to simply change your direction not to quit. I feel God has the same purpose for all Christians and that is to reach the unreached for Him. The only difference is were we are individually at. To what that may look like.

Don Kirsch

commented on Jul 4, 2011

Discerning the time to move on, viewing it as God's deliverance FROM and TO is NOT quitting. I found it to be a way of remaining in the flow of God's Spirit, on mission with the Jesus who is always on the move, regardless of who SEEMED to be the initiator. I can't quit being a child of God and a sharer of Christ even though I might sense clear divine direction to some other vocational means of being a witness for Jesus.

Greg Busby

commented on Jul 5, 2011

Thank you for reminding me God is in control and the One who's controlling my call. You've reinforced what other colleagues have said in different ways.

Fernando Villegas

commented on Jul 6, 2011

Dr. Ronald Shultz, I feel it is quite presumptive to tell Dennis definitely that it was time to quit and that it was God's will. First of all, you don't know all the details of his circumstances. Second, you can't say that if it hadn't been God's will, things would've worked out differently. Such an understanding of God's will is really more accurately known in the secular world as fate or destiny--what will happen will happen, and we can't do anything to change it. But the biblical understanding of God's will is much more nuanced and dynamic than that. You are entitled to your opinion, but please don't be too quick to judge things you know very little about!

Jim Ressegieu

commented on Jul 7, 2011

I wasn't called to ministry until late in my 50's--I've been serving a small church in a small town since seminary. About 3 years into the ministry I'd had it. I shared my "issues" many involving the lack of growth with a dear retired pastor over breakfast one day and he said after listening carefully to me, "Jim, you were faithful when God called you to ministry, you went faithfully to seminary, you faithfully answered the call to your church and you've been faithfully serving. Jim, God wants you to be faithful, not famous." I remember those words every day and I will be faithful to my call until God calls me away. To date I'm beginning my seventh year at the church.

Shawn Rose

commented on Jul 9, 2011

I have been struggling with a decision to resign as pastor of a small country church myself. This is my first pastorate, and I have been the pastor there for 6 years now, and the people are wonderful! There are no major problems between members of the church! But the church is declining. I know that God placed me there, and I have enjoyed my time as pastor, but the attendance has declined every year since I have been there. The people are set in their ways, and don't want to do "new" things. They like being small and, even though they are very friendly towards guests, they are satisfied with who is currently there. I used to focus on trying to get new people, but now my focus is on keeping the ones I already have. They have treated me and my family wonderfully, and have been very loving. I have seen some spiritual growth among the members that remain, but many have left because they don't like my "style of preaching" and the "direction the church is going." I don't want to leave...I love it there, and I love the people there, but it feels like I am doing more harm than good. I honestly believe that some would return if I resigned, and I believe even more would return if the new pastor preached differently than I do. (I am guilty of being a "teacher-preacher") I have not told the church I am struggling with this decision for now...I want to pray about it over the next month or so before I involve them. I just want to do what God wants me to do. If the church is better off without me, I am willing to go, but if God wants me to stay and continue to minister there, I am happy to stay. I would appreciate any of your prayers as I try to discern God's will. God bless you all.

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