Summary: What do you do when it seems you can’t live up to God’s or anyone else’s expectations. What do you do when you want to quit. A message on prayer.

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Do you ever feel that no matter what you do, and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to get ahead, you can’t seem it get a break? Do you ever like things were pressing in on you from every side? Have you ever simply want to quit? Have you ever gotten tired of fighting, gotten tired of trying, and simply wanted to run away and start over again? Have you ever felt overwhelmed?

I felt a bit like that a couple of weeks ago. I remember it distinctly. It was on a Friday night. The reason I remember it so well is that for a minute or two I became so angry I cursed, which is unusual for me. And you know I don’t really know what bothered me more; the fact that I cursed, or the fact that I didn’t feel any better when I did.

You know I kid a lot with Gladys, but in the past few weeks, I’ve said things a time or two that hurt her. I don’t remember doing that much in the past, but I did recently, and I can’t explain it. I love her more than I can say.

Some people have the mistaken idea that when you become a Christian, you don’t have any more struggles, you don’t have any more trials. Suddenly, you’ve got it all together. That’s nonsense. My friend, when you know and love Jesus, when you realize the standards He calls His disciples to live up to, it can be overwhelming. All of a sudden you’re hit with the realization that God has given you a great honor, but also an awesome responsibility. You and I are called to be Ambassadors for Christ, His representatives in the world. We are supposed to be loving husbands and wives, encouraging our spouses. We are given the responsibility of being godly parents, and it’s tough finding the balance with discipline.

The Devil doesn’t make it any easier. He’ll help your spouse give you grief. He’ll cause your children to fight. He’ll send every thought in the world to make you think you’re all alone, no one understands, and you might as well quit even trying.

If you’re like me, sometimes it seems that God expects and life requires more than I have to give.

Don’t you imagine the crowd Jesus talked to when He preached the Sermon on the Mount felt the same way? Jesus told them they were supposed to be merciful. They were supposed to focus on storing treasures in heaven and to trust God to provide for them in this life. He said, “turn the other cheek, and if someone requires you to go one mile with him, go the extra mile. Oh, and by the way, unless your righteousness is greater than the Pharisees, you can forget about getting to heaven; and while you’re trying to exceed them, don’t judge them.” Sounds like Jesus requires an awful lot.

Am I the only one overwhelmed by His expectations?

I imagine about that time someone in the back of the crowd hollered up, like many of us want to do, “How in the world am I supposed to do that? Preaching it is one thing. Living it is something else.”

It is then, my friend that Jesus tells us what to do when we want to stop trying, when we simply want to quit.

- Read Matthew 7:7-11

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