You’re done. You are over it. You give up.
You were never really good at it, anyway. It’s too hard. Someone else will do it better.
Whatever “it” is—parenting, marriage, work, cleaning, exercise, eating better, pursuing your passions—the sentiment is the same.
So what do we do? Do we give up? Do we continue on—striving, pushing?
It’s tricky because sometimes we need to let things go and sometimes we need to persevere and sometimes we need a couple of grace days. There are seasons for everything — the Bible tells us so.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: – Ecclesiastes 3:1
But if you know this is something aligned with God’s heart—marriage, parenting, breathing—read on. You need this encouragement to not give up!
Must-Read Encouragement for When You Want to Give Up
Fewer excuses. More trust in God.
Excuse me, God, but I’m pretty sure you picked the wrong person for this job. Have you met me? I’m awkward. I’m horrible at small talk. Sometimes I get anxious for no reason, and I want to hide from the world. Maybe someone else would be a better choice to steward this gift. Yep, that’s me.
Moses and I — we have something in common.
Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
It’s easy to get frustrated with Moses when we read about how he questioned God’s call to speak to Pharaoh. Obviously, He will equip you if he’s called you, dude. God doesn’t make mistakes. I love how God reminds Moses of exactly that. And because it’s in the Bible, we get that reminder, too.
Your struggle shows God’s power over your own.
Our struggles leave room—tremendous, spacious room—for God to move.
I love what Paul says to the church in Corinth:
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (emphasis mine)
Paul was scared. He was shaking-in-his-boots (or sandals) scared. He wasn’t an eloquent speaker, and he didn’t consider himself wise by human standards. And yet, he knew that in his weakness God’s power would shine even greater.
Everything that’s making you feel like you should give up is a giant opening for God’s glory to shine.
Sharing your mess gives others the courage to do the same.
If there was ever anyone who had an excuse to give up, it was Paul. I mean the guy was repeatedly beaten and imprisoned. But he didn’t see his misfortune as a reason to give up.
Paul saw his situation as a new opportunity to share the Gospel. And Paul’s courage inspired his brothers and sisters in Christ to be courageous, too.
And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. Philippians 1:14
When we persevere through the hard times, when we seek God continually and praise His name through the scary dark moments, other people begin to notice. And they want to know more. And your story inspires them to do the same. And it becomes one beautiful, messy domino effect.
You aren’t doing it alone.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 (emphasis mine)
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 (emphasis mine)
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (emphasis mine)
God reminded the people in the Old Testament — over and over — that they weren’t alone. They had nothing to fear because He was with them and behind them and before them. They weren’t doing it in their own power. Maybe the reason you want to quit is you feel like you don’t have the ability to carry out the task.
Good news! We were never supposed to do it alone in the first place.
Go ahead and give up, sweet friend. Give up trying to do it on your own. Stop the striving and be done with the guilt trips. It’s time to rely on His strength and His power.
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