Don’t give in to despair. Recognize that it’s the enemy trying to get you to give up and give in. KEEP PRAYING!
13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it.
When we are tempted to give up and say, “What’s the use?” is when we are close to having victory in our lives. It’s like Satan’s last defense; he has tried to block us at every turn, but we have been diligent. Now, he tries to convince us that we don’t matter, that our opinion doesn’t matter, that our vote doesn’t matter, and that our prayers don’t matter. But, THEY DO!
When Paul was talking to Timothy, he encouraged him with these words,
13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Timothy 4:13-15
Do you hear Paul saying, “Don’t give up. Keep pressing on”? In fact, those same words are spoken by Paul about himself in his letter to the Philippians,
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
When we are tempted to say, “What’s the use?”, we must remember that our calling by the LORD is NOT to change the world, but to be obedient to Him. HE will change the world. We are simply to be obedient. How?
- Through prayer. It’s our connection to Him. Our fellowship with Him gives us nourishment for our souls. He is the Vine and we are His branches. The phrase, “suck it up,” should take on new meaning for us!
- Do what He tells us to do. He will draw our attention to whatever it is; we will have the thought, “I should do that.” We check with the Spirit one more time, and if there is no “check in our spirit”, we do it. We don’t even have to consider whether or not it will make a difference. The boy with five loaves of bread and two small fishes didn’t consider his contribution small–it was his lunch!
- Be diligent. In other words, keep at it. Be obstinate, even dogmatic about the LORD’s will. If we are going to be known for something, our diligence and integrity are the BEST things. I would rather someone say, “Well, you can say this about him, he’s consistent,” than have words of flattery said about me. The only Person I want to please is the LORD.
Here are two verses to encourage us:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Consider Him [Jesus Christ] who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:3
Based upon these two verses, we should continue to resist the devil and be encouraged as we pray through whatever “problems” we are having in our lives. I put “problems” in quotations because they are really obstacles in an obstacle course; taken on correctly, they become the very tools that the Spirit uses to train us in godliness. Let’s not have to take this course again…!
Abba, I pray encouragement for my brothers and sisters. May they not grow weary in coming to You about all things. May their fellowship with You be sweet, especially as they read Your Word and hear Your voice. May their praise be genuine and fresh today as we meet together in our respective churches. We delight in You, O LORD. Amen.