<<cease, stop>>

When discouraged or tired the temptation of the flesh is to give up because our perspective is negatively and selfishly focused; it considers the obstacles are too big and the rewards too small. Instead, follow the example of Jesus who looked beyond the immediate to what would be accomplished by His remaining committed to His Father’s plans (Heb 12:2). Focus on Christ and in faith see the fruit that will result from continuing to be faithful to His call on your life. Use the low periods of life as a catalyst to renew your devotion to the Lord, and increase your efforts to make your life count for eternity.

Perseverance is required to bring about the anticipated blessing and results. No project of value is ever achieved that doesn’t experience setbacks and the lure to quit, especially when cherished dreams vaporize, and friends desert you or spread gossip. The only real failure is when a person fails to get up and try again after falling short. Hold on to the promises and plan of God for your life. Look at who is for you, not what is against you, for with God we are more than conquerors (Rom 8:37). He wants us to walk in victory as successful over-comers, not being overcome and defeated.

Many people start out with enthusiasm, yet fail to remember the battles they have fought and won and so falter, when the breakthrough may well be close – it is important not to make a permanent decision based on a short-term emotional low. Strength of character, stamina and self-discipline are necessary, foundation qualities required to achieve anything of significance. The Bible says, “Let us

Who wants to live with the                regret of giving up?

not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Gal 6:9). We need divine wisdom when we experience opposition to our plans, to know does this require more determination and effort on our part to press through into victory and not abort something prematurely, pulling out before its time of fulfillment, or are we in disobedience continuing to cling onto something God has said is dead, the door is shut and we must accept it. There are times when God definitely closes the door and we are to relinquish a planned project or let a matter drop resulting in a change of direction – such as when Paul’s travel plans were rearranged and he accepted ‘No’ to his request of relief from an ailment (Act 15:36, 16:6,7,10; 2 Cor 12:7-10). We all have shattered dreams when things haven't eventuated as we thought they would – but do not give up on God or life. Through them He is working in our character as we co-operate with Him (Rom 8:28).

As believers, we should stop sinning and live God-honouring lives so we do not give Satan an opportunity to bring an accusation about us before God or provide an opening to afflict us. “Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you” infers that we can open ourselves to harassment from Satan by our lifestyle (Jn 5:5,14). Job by his Godly manner of living was shielded by God’s favour (Job 1:8-12, 2:3-6). The Bible instructs us to live as children of the Light, doing what pleases God, and don’t be entangled in sin (Eph 5:8-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22). The bottom line is if it wrong – repent and quit it now.

See also: breakthrough, defeat, discouragement, dreams shattered, give up, persevere, victory.

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