When You Feel Like Giving Up

I’m writing over at Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today this morning. I wanted to share this with you too. By the way, if you haven’t been over to P31’s website, check it out!

Can I make a confession? Sometimes I quit too soon.

I’ve quit when what I really needed was to press on and press through. Sometimes I’ve grown tired of the struggle — tired of trying. And I’ve missed many blessings because I threw up my hands in the battle and said, “Just forget it.”

I don’t want to do that any longer. I don’t want to stop too soon.

The battle plan for Joshua to take the Promised Land was as simple as it was strange, complete with marching for seven days around the city of Jericho, a whole army shouting and priests blowing trumpets. (Read more in Joshua 6:1-21.)

Now, that was a strange plan. God’s infinite ways often don’t make sense in our finite minds. Sometimes you have to be willing to look ridiculous and be radical to live a remarkable life. The choices you make when you feel God’s nudge will become the hinges on which your destiny swings.

Jericho was “tightly shut” (Joshua 6:1, NLT). Sometimes it can feel like our promises are “tightly shut” as well. That doesn’t mean we give up. That means we suit up, step up and keep moving forward.

In Joshua 6:2b, God said, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands” (NIV). Notice the verb tense. God did not say, “will deliver Jericho into your hands.” He said, “have delivered Jericho into your hands” (emphasis added). He had already done it, but the Israelites had to obey and put their foot down to receive it. I love how God speaks in past tense to our present problems.

But here’s the conundrum: What do you do when what God says doesn’t match up with what you see? When all you see is a big wall standing between your promise and your present situation?

There will be times when you’re doing everything you know to do, and you still don’t see any movement. The Israelites walked around Jericho for six days, and as far as they could tell, nothing happened. I’m sure it unnerved the people behind the wall, but as far as the walkers could tell, not one brick fell.

This is where many give up — me included — when they don’t see any progress. “God, throw me a bone,” I cry. “Show me a little something! Let me see just a hint of progress! Can I see one brick fall?” And God says, “Keep walking … by faith.”

Just because you don’t see God working does not mean He isn’t. Jesus said, “My Father is always working” (John 5:17, NLT). The writer of Hebrews notes: “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:35-36, NIV).

Today, you might be on lap number seven around your “Jericho” and not even know it. Suppose they had stopped on day six, saying, “This is ridiculous. I’m not feelin’ it. Not one stone has fallen to the ground. I don’t see any progress. Those folks are probably in there laughing their heads off. So I’m going home.”

They would have missed the blessing.

I wonder how many times I’ve missed the blessing because I stopped too soon. Perhaps you’ve wondered:

  • How much longer will I have to wait until God brings my prodigal home?
  • How much longer will I have to struggle with my unbelieving husband?
  • How much longer will I have to endure this dead-end job?
  • How many more laps will I have to walk around Jericho before the walls come tumbling down, and I can take hold of my Promised Land?

I don’t know the answer to the question of how much longer, but I do know this: Tomorrow could be the final lap. Don’t give up too soon.

Lord, sometimes I just want to give up. As a matter-of-fact, I am tempted to give up on something pretty important right now. Fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit on the inside, so I can persevere on the outside. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What’s one situation in your life when you perhaps gave up too soon? Where is God calling you to press on? Share in the comments and I’ll be praying for you. 

Then get a sticky note, and write the following: “I will not give up on _____________.” Fill in the blank and keep it somewhere you’ll see it often.

Don’t settle for a mediocre faith that’s less than what God intends. In Take Hold of the Faith You Long For, you’ll discover how to grab hold of that mountain-moving faith you’ve always wanted. Discover how to let go of everything that holds her hostage to a “less than” life, move forward to take hold of everything God has for you and placed in you, and live bold with the adventurous faith of a
woman who knows she’s totally loved and empowered.

Also, check out the Lambano necklace! Lambano means “take hold”in Greek. This necklace was made by women from
third world countries through the ministry of Fashion and Compassion.

 

 

 

 

30 Responses to When You Feel Like Giving Up

  1. Esther September 20, 2018 at 5:02 am #

    I am Esther from Kenya a single mom to a wonderful son. Thankful for this mail. Feelings of overwhelment as i write this, and although I have read this article and feeling much better, but i have been asking myself why press on. I cant see result. I am on the 10th day out of 21 days of fasting & prayer yet there is no sign that God is hearing, all i have been getting is temptations. 2 of my main prayer request are 1.Financial breakthrough 2. A mate. And for the mate what is coming are men that seems not to be serious. I remember telling God i wont pray for the mate, i need financial stability to take care of my son & other needy kids around me. I feel broken, down
    Please help me pray, & God to give me the strength to finish this fast as He did with Daniel.

  2. Zelmarie September 20, 2018 at 5:04 am #

    Thank you for the encouragement today. I felt so many times to just give up. I am emotionally tired and I am praying for healing. I went through so much … my husband watched/struggled with pornography, me dealing with the wounds and my low self-esteem after that, not believing or trusting my husband. My husband lost his job 6 months ago, we had to make loans where we go and is struggling financially. He started with a new job, in the middle of this month, with a very small salary – as something is better than nothing. We (myself, my husband and our 2 year old daughter) are moving at the end of this month from a townhouse to a garden flat as we can’t afford the townhouse anymore. We are fighting constantly due to all the worries.
    Please pray with us.
    Thank you.

  3. Regina DeFranco September 20, 2018 at 6:52 am #

    Before my feet even hit the floor this morning, I was ready to give up…so this must have been written
    for me.Sharon, just prayer for God’s strength that I make it through this mess because I really am tired.

  4. Amanda September 20, 2018 at 6:55 am #

    Sharon, this message is so timely. We finally received a blessing in the form of a new baby we waitrd 7+years for. The trouble is we have 4 foster children who we are rasing as our own and right now trying to settle into being a mum with a nee born I find myself wanting to give up on these 4 beautiful children. Im praying and asking for prayer, the 4 kids are going on respite for a week and Im finding myself feeling relieved and asking what if i dont want them back. They, themselves have been a blessing to our family but right now I cant see past naughty behavioir and just how busy life is.

  5. Jeanne Doyon September 20, 2018 at 6:57 am #

    Oh my goodness is this timely. I am away on a personal retreat right now and God has whispered, things don’t have to be perfect to be worth doing. Your message about giving up too soon is what I need to hear today. I wish I could share everything God said this morning through His word. Your post added just the right icing on his cake.

  6. Jeanne Green September 20, 2018 at 7:26 am #

    Sharon I was reminded today by your post of what Jesus has done for me. I have a disabled and bipolar son who will be turning 37. I have been around Jericho for 35 of those 37 years. My husband and I are just now in the last 2 years finding peace and respite. With the right combination of meds and many many hospital stays for psychosis we have our sweet innocent son back. We thank Jesus every day for his healing and continue to pray for stability. We almost don’t know what to do with ourselves seeing how great our son is doing for the last 2 years. Very long journey but one filled with growing faith and trust that God is in control. Thanks for sharing today.

  7. Sandra mills September 20, 2018 at 7:31 am #

    Hi Sharon
    I was reading about the reconciled marriage of don and Jona and went to your website to read how it occurred but couldn’t open the page and have now totally lost what I had started to read . Please help !

  8. Sullivan September 20, 2018 at 7:43 am #

    I am in the midst of a very hard season in our marriage. God has told me for over a year to forgive, to love my husband, to hold on to my marriage. I am trying, but some days are just plain hard and hurtful. I need to focus on God, and get my strength in HIM to press on.

  9. Jean priebe September 20, 2018 at 7:51 am #

    Need prayed for my son and family. Praying for more than 40 years.

  10. B September 20, 2018 at 8:10 am #

    My marriage. My husband said he doesn’t love me or deserve me ( over 10 months ago). We are still living together. It’s like a roller coaster. We are both believers. I’m praying for him daily. I feel Satan is attracting our family.

  11. Lisa September 20, 2018 at 8:35 am #

    I will not give up on my ability to parent my 20 year old son who is becoming an amazing independent adult.

  12. Michele Haskin September 20, 2018 at 8:40 am #

    I’m struggling where my husband is concerned. We have a great physical relationship, but right now, our emotional relationship is lacking. Maybe I’ve done or do things that make life hard for him. I don’t know it if I do. I’m not trying to. I’m trying to be the wife he needs. I know he’s dealing with a lot right now but there is little communication. I feel like I have to make most of the household decisions. Every time I try to talk to him, he just won’t. Sometimes I just want to get mad and yell at him but I know that’s not going to help him or us. I’m so confused. As always, there’s always more to the story leading up to here but not enough space or time. 🙂 Thank you for listening.
    Thank you for all you write!

  13. Joyce September 20, 2018 at 9:06 am #

    Thank you Sharon for your willingness to share your Christian faith with us and showing me how to live the right way to be a true believer in Jesus!! My deepest prayer is that my daughter’s will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior!

  14. Cathy September 20, 2018 at 9:15 am #

    Thank you for sharing with us. My desire is to have the relationship with my daughter rekindled. at this point she does not want me in her life.she is an adult and married last summer.

  15. lynne September 20, 2018 at 9:23 am #

    Sharon,
    I doubt that we will ever meet on this side of heaven. But I wanted to thank you for this teaching today. I am 61 years old and my job hours have been cut from 45 hours a week to 16. It is a long story but my employer has believed lies and nothing I can say or do can or will change that. I am a single mom helping my daughter with school. I am scared and worrisome about finding a job and knowing if it is where The Lord wants me.
    I would covet your prayers. I want to see God working….showing my children that He always provides. I can put on a brave face with others but it is when I am alone that the fear creeps in.
    Thank you for listening….praying
    I appreciate your ministry greatly

    Seeking what lasts..
    lynne

  16. Gina Weeks September 20, 2018 at 9:39 am #

    Thank you for this! Our youngest daughter has informed us she is transgender. We are praying for God to lead us through this valley. We don’t understand. We love our daughter. But this is the hardest thing that we have gone through in our 30 years of marriage.

    • Linda October 11, 2018 at 1:59 am #

      Dear Gina W, I cannot imagine how you are feeling. My heart goes out to you and I’m praying you feel Him with you, comforting you as only He can. My daughter is gay. I nearly lost her twice. She’s 43. It’s a journey God is carrying us through.

  17. Tania September 20, 2018 at 12:22 pm #

    Sharon, that was what I needed to read this morning as just last night i told God that I give up, that I cannot keep going like this anymore. I struggle so much with anxiety and panic disorder daily and it seems to never have an end. Since I was a child I’ve had it and now I’m 33 and I struggle with if there’s ever going to be an end to this and if I’ll ever be able to be a mom or simply go on a vacation. Theres so many things I cant do because of my anxiety and I’ve grown very tiered. Thank you again.

  18. Vicki Edwards September 20, 2018 at 12:37 pm #

    Dearest Sharon, as it is, the timing of this devotional is paramount as it speaks DIRECTLY to my job struggles, RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT!
    My Jericho laps are wearing me out, I’m weary and need Jesus to help me endure. Blessed for having a job, but frustrations persist daily.
    Thank you for your loving reminder that God answers through my faithful following, praying, crying out and trusting HE will.
    Anticipating His mercies new EVERY morning!
    Gratefully,
    Vicki E

  19. charlotte Wendy Mayers September 20, 2018 at 1:29 pm #

    Pray that I will not give up on what God wants to do in my life sometimes it’s difficult but I know my life is not my own

  20. Magda Usera September 20, 2018 at 1:31 pm #

    Thank you so much for this encouraging word and the verse in Hebrews. I have received many promises from God about the healing of my son. He suffered a traumatic brain injury 10 years ago and my husband I have been taking care of him ever since, in addition to working full time. We are between nurses right now and we are really struggling with care for him versus our need to work and the cost of paying for help until one comes through the agency that is covered by insurance. I am feeling very discouraged today as the back up caregiver called in sick and then the back up to the back up called in sick. We are tired and need help. Prayers would be very appreciated!!

  21. Dianne Miley September 20, 2018 at 2:07 pm #

    Hi Sharon,
    You are so encouraging! I am also an author. I’ve written 6 books and have not been a successful marketer to actually earn a living with my writing. Sometimes I definitely feel like giving up! Not writing, which I love, but marketing which seems to be the bane of my existence.
    God also called me to start a nonprofit, which is doing remarkably well, and I wonder what His plan is for my writing? Later? After I retire from the nonprofit?
    Anyway, thank you so much for praying for me to be successful in providing for my family through writing.
    Prayers for you also and congratulations on your success! 🙂

  22. Jeanette Rakoma September 20, 2018 at 2:10 pm #

    I will not give up for applying to be a manager at work , I work for this company for 12 years now without a promotion , and when they advertise a post ,I apply for it ,but with no success ,

  23. Rebecca Jones September 20, 2018 at 8:24 pm #

    I remember think about a time when i would b saying to myself maybe tomorrow. I’m doing it again.

  24. Lorna Cassil September 21, 2018 at 12:58 am #

    I have been waiting for 8 1/2 years for my husband to come home. Many times I want to give up, but God tells me to keep trusting. He has restored Our marriage.

  25. Ndidi September 21, 2018 at 4:49 am #

    I have being applying for jobs and not gotten any.. I have being praying for financial help and also a breakthrough for I and my husband for a job for years now… I will not give up. I will keep pushing until these walls of Jericho falls down and I will William dance into my promised land.amen.

  26. Mandi Bollinger September 25, 2018 at 1:34 am #

    My husband introduced me to God and then after we separated and got back together 11 years ago, he has turned away from God and is convinced it’s not important for him to go to church since he already knows everything. He’s always finding something better to do on Sunday mornings, sleeping mostly. I’m certain he’s got some psychiatric issues or the devil has a major hold on him as he’s become a nightmare. He treats me like total garbage and then questions why I’m quiet or upset. He doesn’t take responsibility for anything and throws out a lot of fighting comments. Most of the time, I resist responding since he thinks his point is accurate and I’m picking fights if I say anything. His comments are so ridiculous and out of line that it puts me almost into a panic attack when I resist saying anything. This has been going on for a year and a half. I’m so ready to give up and find someone who thinks I’m wonderful and loves Jesus. He also has a relationship with his ex that I’m not ok with but he doesn’t care what I think or how I feel. He can be gone for three hours without telling me what he’s doing and sees no reason to communicate.

  27. Nina October 1, 2018 at 1:25 pm #

    I’m ready to throw in the towel to get my nursing license. I’ve taken the boards 4 times and failed and I no longer have motivation or a desire to become a nurse anymore. I have been forcing myself to study over again and feel nothing is sticking to my brain. Look, right now is my study time and I’m on here 😕

  28. Nanette October 1, 2018 at 4:16 pm #

    Please prafor the attack on the marriage. In some ways I believe it was God’s plan to open up some stuff so we can deal with it. Do it no mistake that I saw your email today….. God always provides the resources right on time. I’m in a season of being still and listening.

  29. Lisa October 5, 2018 at 2:20 pm #

    Please pray for my husband and my marriage. Married 18 years and it has been quite a rollercoaster. He claims he does not love me like he used to and he is seriously considering divorce. He is not walking with the Lord like he once was and he is battleing depression. We need a miracle because I am about ready to give up too. I don’t want a divorce, but I can’t help his choices. We have three amazing boys and it would be heart breaking for them if we were not a family anymore. I am believing God has a good plan and he will move in a big way, but when???? Thanks so much for your wonderful devotion today, it has encouraged me not to give up hope.

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