When You Feel Like Giving Up
I don’t know about you, but when I heard about the most-recent mass shooting in Southern California, my first reaction was not one of horror. Sadly, such shootings seem to have become so commonplace that instead of reacting with horror or outrage, we grow more and more numb. Our hearts hurt for the innocent lives taken, the families that will never be the same, and we turn to everything from political action and cries for gun control to praying for God’s guidance and help. Yet, deep down, we can’t help but wonder where it will happen next. It kind of makes you just feel like giving up.
I can hardly fathom how our nation has changed since I was a child. In all honesty, I cannot fathom how much it has changed since my own children were small. As a believer in Christ, I know what the Bible says about the last days and I feel sure we must be in them.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Yet I also remember what He said to His people.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Notice that the verse above is not addressed to unbelievers, but to believers. It is a reminder that God will act on our behalf when we honestly seek Him and turn away from our sin. Each of us need to be honest with ourselves as to whether we are truly seeking God or listening to the voices of the world. Has political correctness, failure to recognize sin as sin, and compromising the truth of God’s Word become all too familiar in your life and mine? Can we honestly say that we are humbling ourselves before God, seeking Him in all that we do, and turning away from our sinful ways?
My friend, the answer to mass shootings and to a world gone crazy does not rest in political activity. It rests in you and me. It depends on our humbling ourselves before God and seeking His mercy and forgiveness. It depends on our putting our faith in God rather than man. God can make the difference. He can defeat the enemies among us. He can raise up kings, rulers, and leaders and He can pull them down. Time and again in the Old Testament, God’s people discovered that the battle belonged not to them, but to the Lord. As David declared to Goliath: “Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:45,47).
No matter how much the terrible things happening in this world make us feel like giving up, it simply is not an option for a believer in Jesus Christ. Jesus made it clear that until He calls us home or until He returns, there are specific things we should be doing.
- We should watch for His return (see Luke 12:35-37).
- We should remain steadfast and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord (see 2 Peter 3:14-18).
- We should keep on working (see Luke 12:42-48).
Whether we like it or not, we’re in a battle – “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). The lives of our family members, friends, and even our enemies depend on our remaining faithful to Christ and following Him steadfastly in all that we do. May we not give up, but keep on trusting, keep on praying, keep on watching, keep on growing, and keep on working. If our persistence contributes to one soul coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, won’t it be worth it?
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!