Persevere: Quitting is not an option
We are continuing in our series on Discovering Your Destiny and we are thinking about what it means to Persevere.
Today we are focussing on a simple statement of Truth: Quitting is not an option.
Pastor and Author, Warren Wiersbe said “Those times when you feel like quitting can be times of great opportunity, for God uses your troubles to help you grow.”
The Christian life, living daily as a disciple of Jesus, is not the easy option. If we are honest, we know that there are times when we struggle to live in the way that God has commanded us to live.
Maybe in your life there have been times when you have encountered problems.
Maybe in your life there have been times when you have struggled.
Maybe in your life there have even been times when you have felt like quitting.
Yet you persevered, in God’s strength you carried on, you let God’s love and mercy and grace carry you on.
When there was no hope, God was your hope. When there seemed to be no way, God made a way.
When your strength was gone, God was your strength.
When you needed guidance and encouragement to persevere God was faithful. God guided you through those difficult times and you persevered, you endured, you overcame, you survived and you did not quit because God was with you.
Perhaps this morning you need some encouragement to persevere. Maybe right now there is something happening in your life that is causing you a problem. Maybe right now you are struggling and you have even prayed and asked God, “Why is this happening?” “What am I going to do?” “What good can come from this?”
Maybe you are at a place where you have even prayed, “Lord, you said you would be with me, Lord, you said you would help me. Lord, I can’t do this without you.”
We know that in our own strength we can fail, but with God all things are possible. He can do what we can not do.
Psalm 46:1 reminds us “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”
God will help us in all our trials, He alone is our strength and our shield. Don’t focus on your situation and don’t focus on what you can see, trust God. Every trial and tribulation we go through in this life has a reason, a purpose, they can make us stronger in our faith and draw us closer to God.
James 1:2-4, Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Don’t quit, don’t give up, remember the hand of God is at work in your life.
Deuteronomy 3:16, “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
God will not abandon His children. If you are in Christ this morning, if you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you have been saved and you have been adopted into God’s family, you are a child of God.
Ask God to help you trust Him. Have faith, speak to Him in prayer, read His Word, trust His promises, trust His grace, trust His mercy.
Don’t Quit. Believe in His promises, trust in Him, because the Almighty God is with you, God can help you in every situation and circumstance. May our testimony be the same as the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:13, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
God knows all the troubles and problems that you and I face. God’s promises cover the entire range of our circumstances and situations, our needs, our troubles, and our problems. God wants us to trust His promises for help in every time of need.
The words God spoke to Joshua in Joshua 1:9, are also relevant to you and I today, “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” And Joshua’s final words to the people of Israel in Joshua 23:14 are also relevant “Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the Lord your God has come true. Not a single one has failed!”
Wow, every promise of God has come true, not a single promise of God has ever failed. Persevere, don’t quit. God is faithful. Trust Him.
Listen to these verses:
Psalm 36:5 “Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.”
Psalm 119:90, “Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created.”
Lamentations 3:22-23, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness;His mercies begin afresh each morning.”
1 Corinthians 1:9, “God will do this, for He is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited you into partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
2 Thessalonians 3:3, “But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.”
Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”
Perserve, don’t quit. God is faithful. Trust Him.
The Bible clearly shows that having faith in God is more just a one-off decision to follow Christ, the Bible clearly tells us we are to persevere and increase in faith.
We need to use our faith, to persevere, to grow in Christ and increase our faith. Pray to God for Him to increase your faith in Him. Sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we expect. He answers in His time and in His way, but His answers to our prayers are always the best way at exactly the right time.
Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
God has a perfect plan for you, God has a destiny for you. There are times when God’s plans for us are obvious, and there are time when we get just a glimpse of God’s plan for us. The challenge for us is to keep on keeping on, when life presses in, we need to trust God.
Right now, in your circumstance, in your situation, have faith, don’t quit, trust God. Dare to trust God for the bit between where you are now and where you will be, where you long to be.
The author of the book Out of Sorts, Sarah Bessey wrote, “People talk about “Victory!” but sometimes it takes all of our energy to just keep not quitting. There are times when right in the middle of the hard and the impossible you find yourself thinking, “I’ve never felt more alive and I’ve never been happier than right now.”
“There are moments when you feel the needle moving, when you feel the arch of the universe actually bending towards justice and love and shalom. There are days when you feel like you’re in the right lane and you feel a whole cloud of witnesses cheering for the race you are running. But other days….well, the heavens are rather silent and you feel like you are plodding along in a dirt track without an end game."
We know we’re more than conquerors. We should be strong and courageous. We know that we will reap a mighty harvest if we faint not. We know that with God all things are possible. Those grand words can feel far away from our lived reality sometimes.
Friends, this morning remember quitting is not an option. Maybe some days you will need God’s help just to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Maybe some days you will need God’s help to keep praying, keep standing, keep working. Maybe some days you will feel like the only success was that you didn’t quit. All of those days are times when God will help you to persevere.
I said at the start, the Christian life, living daily as a disciple of Jesus, is not the easy option. Yet by faith in Christ, you will see mountains move, you will not be defeated by powers and principalities. In the midst of trial and difficulty, circumstance and situation, God is with you.
In Christ we are called not to be quitters, we are called to be overcomers, we are called to be victorious.
The Greek word most often translated “overcomer” stems from the word nike which, according to Strong’s Concordance, means “to carry off the victory. The verb implies a battle.”
The Bible teaches Christians to recognize that the world is a battleground, not a playground. God does not leave us defenceless. The apostle Paul wrote eloquently of overcoming in Romans 8:35–39. He speaks of the power believers have through the Holy Spirit to overcome.
Romans 8:37 says, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
or as the NLT translates the verse, “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”
Overcoming requires complete dependence upon God for direction, purpose, fulfilment, and strength to follow His plan for our lives.
1 Corinthians 15:57, “But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 John 5:4-5, “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”
Have faith, persevere, quitting is not an option.
As I draw to a close and we come to our time of communion, my final thought is this, victory doesn’t always look how we thought it would, sometimes the victory is the seed that falls to the ground and dies for new life to be born.
To quote the preacher and author Kris Vallotton: “There is no victory without a battle, no testimony without a test and no miracle without an impossible circumstance”
Finally, I will leave you with the words of the Apostle Paul from Philippians 1:6, “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
Have faith, persevere, quitting is not an option.