In Spite of it All, I Won't Quit
Psalm 34:19 NLT - The righteous person faces many troubles,
but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
One night I had a dream that I was talking to a Christian lady who was dealing with some difficulties but continued in whatever God had called her to do. When I asked her how or why, she said that the Lord told her she was spiritually mature enough, spiritually developed enough, and spiritually committed enough to not quit.
These words stuck with me and caused me to think about some things. I thought about how often we believed that the ones who have been saved the longest and who are the most mature in Christ would have fewer struggles than the immature ones. Most times we feel as if the undeveloped saint is the one who invites trouble into their lives because of unwise choices. While this may be true, it is not the ONLY way nor the ONLY reason why saints of God face difficulties.
If you have been growing in Christ, then you know that difficulties can be used to distract you or to develop you. It’s your choice!
Don’t be delusional, in this life, difficulties will never disappear. (John 16-33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”)
As an OVERCOMER in Christ, your trials and troubles are not designed to make you quit or to throw in the proverbial towel. You are better than that.
Difficulties don’t equal defeat even when you find yourself in a place of despair. When handled correctly, these difficulties are simply part of the development process as you mature in Christ. A change of perspective helps us to accept our uninvited discomfort with grace. (2 Corinthians 12:10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.)
The mature Christian gets this! The pleasure isn’t in what we are going through, per se. The pleasure is in watching the Spirit of Christ in us outpower the flesh that comes to make us quit!!!
I have been walking with the Lord for over 50 years. As I have developed and matured in Him, one thing I have learned is that He chooses the level of my afflictions according to the level of trust that He has in my commitment to Him. I have been called to continue the race and contend for the faith as I am being conformed into the image of Him!!
This understanding has transformed the way I think about trials and struggles. These are necessary ingredients for my proper spiritual development. Every hard place has created an appetite for me to want to know Christ better. (Philippians 3:10-11 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! You don’t get that from easy places!
Don’t allow difficulties to distract you or cause you to quit. See them for what they are, inconveniences that interrupt the way you prefer things to be. Paul, the Apostle was faced with this issue and yet he chose what was in God’s plan for him. (Philippians 1:23-24 I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. 24 But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.)
Difficulties can either make you or break you! It’s your choice!!!
How you handle them will determine who handles you. If you allow them to distract you, then the enemy has his hands on you and he will kill God’s will for you. (John 10:10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.)
But if you develop the mindset of Job (Job 13:15a Though He slay me, I will trust Him.), He will give you double for your trouble!!! (James 5:11 We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.)
As I close, remember you have been called to continue. Don’t get distracted with convenience and comfort rather than being developed through patience and perseverance. Your afflictions may be many but the Lord has promised to deliver you from them all. Don’t quit!!!!
Pastor Karen Jethroe