I must admit there have been times when I wanted to quit. If you look in certain places in our homes, you will find some discarded items that were once part of something we thought we would enjoy and master: musical instruments, sports equipment, and a host of hobby paraphernalia. Is it appropriate at times to quit? I have heard all the cliches regarding giving up on something: “pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever, and “when you feel like quitting, remember why you started.” These statements and many like them are well-intentioned. I have known and been challenged by these and similar ideas. Looking back, I have quit or stopped doing certain things. Some things would be good to stop, and I will leave you to decide for yourself what that may be. There are various reasons why people choose to quit things, such as: losing interest, choosing another direction, or just not having enough time to name a few. What got me thinking about this was reading a couple of verses from the book of Matthew:
“Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to end will be saved.” (Matthew 24:12-13)
“Everyone will hate you because of My name, but the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)
This is Jesus speaking. He is talking about our faith. Notice His statement, “the love of many will grow cold.” I am reminded of a quote attributed to William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, “it is the nature of a fire to go out.” Applying this to our spiritual lives, it is necessary to stir the embers or fan into flame and counteract the natural tendency of fire to dissipate and grow cold. If the fire is left untended, it will go out! In the second verse I shared, Jesus says, “everyone will hate you because of my name.” Jesus reminds His followers that it will not always be easy or popular to associate with Him and His Kingdom. This verse contains hope and a promise: “the one who perseveres will be saved.”
There are good and bad reasons to quit certain things in our lives; there is no good reason to stop following the Lord. When it comes to following the Lord, it is always too soon to quit! We may modify and throw off human and cultural ideas about what it means to be a Christ-follower, but Jesus says regardless of how tough it is, the one who continues will be saved.
Do we get frustrated at times? Yes! Do we get discouraged? or disappointed? Yes! Weariness is a part of the human condition. Rest and renewal are necessary
What should you do when you feel like quitting?
- Don’t lose focus: Remember, it is not about us or what we think it is always about Jesus!
- Don’t lose heart. Amid discouragement and confusion, allow the Lord to minister to your heart.
- Renewal is available for all! Through the presence of the Holy Spirit, we are being renewed.
- Eternity is forever! Nothing helps like perspective. Our troubles and problems are only with us temporarily; as we experience them, they feel long-term and permanent. Issues are not forever, and pain and discouragement do not last forever. Develop an eternity mindset. It will help keep life in perspective.
It is okay to quit foreign language and cooking classes. It is okay to find another job. It is okay to move and try something different. In the mist of all that happens, keep holding fast to the Lord. To quote another verse in closing: “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5