Summary: preachers/laymen alike--We have the promise of GOD’S PRESENCE, PROTECTION, POTENTIAL!
“Too Soon to Quit”
I suppose all of us at some time or another want to give up and quit/there’s no use/harder I try, worse things get/don’t witness, no one listens/just spinning wheels/getting nothing at church/daily stresses and problems are all vanity/job/ever find happiness?/daily grind (mundane, repetitive, like Chinese water torture!)
I know this is true for 2 reasons:
I talk to many of you going thru it
I’ve gone thru it!
Sometimes God’s people want to quit…
The Greatest leader, handpicked by God!
Had God’s power on his life, but in Numbers 11:15 he said to God, “if thou deal thus w/ me, kill me, I pray thee!”
Greatest General, handpicked by God to lead Israel into the Promised Land…but in Joshua 7:7, he said, “would to God we had been content and dwelt on the other side of Jordan” (so this is what we get for serving God, he said, after a great defeat!)
He felt like quitting! He got over it, thankfully!
Greatest prophet of OT/willing to challenge the idolatry of his day/called fire down from heaven/won a face off w/ prophets of Baal, but in I Kings 19:4 after it was all over, he requested for himself that he might die, and said, it is enough now, O Lord, take away my life!
We talk about his patience and faith, and he was truly a great man…he had a great beginning and a great ending, but in-between, when he lost everything, he wished he had not been born, became suicidal, extremely depressed for a period of time!
Job 3:3 he said, let the day perish in which I was born!
In Acts 18 we find Paul in his 2nd missionary journey, arriving from Athens to Corinth experiencing a low time in his life (of depression)
I Cor. 2:3 Paul says of that time in Acts: “I was w/ you in weakness and in fear, and in much trembling” (could be translated: “I was far from strong, nervous, and rather shaky!”
-He was fatigued (53 mile walk)
-He was alone
-He was bivocational (v. 3: tentmaker)
-Stressed-v. 5 “pressed in the spirit” (spiritual stress)
Had a sense of failure (not much success in Athens/called a “babbler” (bird brain)
-Frustrated, leaving a city of idolatry and heading for the worst in the world for immorality! (Sin city! The Temple: Aphrodite, goddess of sex, and a thousand prostitutes sold their bodies in the temple in the name of religion!)
-unappreciated…he later wrote to the people of Corinth:
2Co 12:15 -
And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
At this point on this trip alone, he’s been beaten and jailed at Philippi, persecuted at Thessalonica and berea, ridiculed in Athens, and now he has to face Corinth! He was at a low point, a crossroads in his ministry, and he was just about to quit!
But the Lord came to Paul on this day, and showed him that trying times are not the time to quit trying!
v. 11—he didn’t quit, he continued! Why? Because God told him in 9 and 10: “it’s too soon to quit!”
3 reasons it’s too soon to quit:
We have the promise of …
1. God’s presence
v. 10 “I am with thee”
· In times of loneliness
Heb. 13:5, Jesus said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee! (gk. Word “never” there 3 x’s…never, no never, no never!)
Joke—young bible college kid taking greek/tried to impress a shut-in at his church/told her the above, what do you think of that? “Well, God may have to tell you greek fellers 3 x’s but once is enough for me!
Gospel of Matthew, 2 wonderful bookends:
Beginning: “Emmanuel, God with us”
Ending: Great commission, where Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always” (don’t fly!)
Your best friend my stab you in the back, but He’s a friend that sticks closer than a brother!
· In the valley
When defeat comes /discouragement/sickness/ financial reversal/heartaches/family probs…remember that the God of the mtn. is still God in the valley!
Ill.—little boy went home after school very sad/told mom about Billy, his best friend, who had been absent for 3 days/found out today why when he returned to class…his daddy died, and when he told us, he cried and just laid his head flat on his desk/mom: “what did you do?”/I didn’t know what to do, so I just laid my head on my desk and cried, too!
(that’s the kind of Savior we have! Bible says, “He’s TOUCHED” w/ the feelings of our infirmities!
Jn. 11:35 says Jesus wept/why?/Lazarus had died/Jesus even knew he was going to raise him from the dead, things were going to get better, but Jesus’ heart still broke in the meanwhile!