quit: to stop, leave a place or person, let go, to admit defeat
I know the one thing Jesus had against the church of Ephesus was that they left their first love, but He saw their works, their labor and their patience. He knew that they had not given up. Despite the long wait, they continued to serve Him. They were patient. They kept going. They kept trying. They suffered for the sake of His name without quitting.
If you’re going to quit anything, quit giving up.
I know you are wondering, When is God going to do it? When will it come to pass? For some of you, it feels like you’ve been waiting for a long time, but I want to encourage you with these words: The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise (2 Peter 3:9). You may think that He is late, but everything God does is at the right time.
Some of you reading this want to quit. You want to quit church. You want to quit that ministry. You want to give up on that marriage. You want to give up on that child. You want to walk off that job. I know it seems like nothing is happening. It seems like God isn’t doing anything, but He is always working (John 5:17, NLT).
The reason why some of you can’t quit is because God won’t let you. Don’t you realize how far you’ve come? Don’t you realize that God has been with you all the way? You can try to give up. You can try to run and hide from what God has called you to do and to be, but just like Peter, people will recognize you because you can’t hide that light under a bushel. I don’t care how dark it seems in your life. It is not able to put out the light that is in you.
But a certain maid saw him (Peter) as he sat by the fire and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him (Luke 22:56).
And after a little while another saw him and said, You are also of them (Luke 22:58).
And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean (Luke 22:59).
It wasn’t long ago that I was lying on my bed thinking about all the poor choices I made, the people I hurt, the people that hurt me, the things I’ve lost and the things that were stolen from me. I was comparing my life to others. I was giving up. I was asking God to give up on me. I began to think that every word I read in the bible and every word spoken to me were lies. (Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about). But even though I was ready to let Him go, He wouldn’t let me go. He wouldn’t leave me alone.
At this point in your life, you couldn’t walk away even if you wanted to because His lovingkindness keeps drawing you back. Every time you said you weren’t going back to church, you went right back. You started praying again. You started believing again. Just when you thought you couldn’t go any further, God gave you new strength to go on and to press on. In the last few months, God has proven Himself to me. I cannot deny Him or His existence. Even when things weren’t going good in my life, He remained good to me. He never left me. He was with me and is still with me.
Listen. Don’t beat yourself up about the past and don’t feel sorry for yourself. Think about the steps and strides you have made. Yes, you have failed some tests, but think about the great testimony that will come out of what you’ve been through. Think about the people who will be set free and delivered because of your testimony – because you refused to give up. You may not be what you should be, but you’re not what you used to be either. You may not be where you want to be, but you will get there –
IF you don’t quit.