July 28, 2017

When We Feel Like Giving Up and Giving In, Why It Matters!

By Ron Halbrook

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6:9-10).

What does it mean to be “weary in well doing”? When tested by temptation, and when buffeted by the storms of life, we may at times feel like giving up and giving in. We may wonder, “Why does it matter whether I give up, or keep trying to live a Christian life?” 
This question may come to us when we are facing some specific temptation or decision about lying, cursing, profanity, stealing, gambling, dancing, immodest dress, pornography, fornication, adultery, drugs, or drinking. It may be a decision about spiritual priorities involving school activities, demands on the job, sports and hobbies, or entertainment programs. Perhaps we become discouraged under the weight of the consequences of past sins, or of poor judgments, or of matters beyond our control such as accidents, diseases, growing older, or the death of loved ones. 

Just the grinding pressure of the daily duties of life may press upon us, such as shift work, the never-ending cycle of household chores, or trying to juggle the varied demands of family life. Gospel preachers, elders, and other saints grow weary at times under the strain of so many battles which must be fought in order to uphold the truth and to counter the subtle attacks and counter-attacks of Satan. We may be tempted to retire from the battle, or at least to relent in our efforts, in hope of relief from the strain. 

Satan is always testing and probing, trying to wear us down and wear us out. God warns, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour, whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (1 Pet. 5:8-9). We are vulnerable to Satan’s attack when we get tired and weary, when we begin to wonder, “Is it worth the fight? Does anyone notice or care when I try so hard to serve God, to live right, and to help others? Is anyone listening when I speak up and speak out for truth and righteousness? Do I really want to press on? Does it matter whether I give up and give in?”  

We all need to be reminded at times why it matters that we not give up, why it matters that we keep on keeping on.

Because of God’s Love

It matters because God loves us so much that he sent his Son to die for our sins so that we can have the hope of heaven.
 
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (perfect sacrifice) for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another (1 John 4:9-11). 

We were unworthy of God’s love because we sinned and rebelled against him. God’s love did not fail us when we were helpless and hopeless, doomed to hell by our own choice and our own sins. 
 
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradverenture for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:6-8). 

We must not betray the love of God by turning back to our sins. 

Because of Christ’s Sacrifice

It matters because Jesus Christ was willing to give up the beauties, glories, and grandeurs of heaven to come to this earth as a man so that he could suffer and die for our sins. He loves us and wants to save us so much that he was willing to die as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. 

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:5-8). 

Knowing that Christ endured hardship and made difficult sacrifices for our salvation, we can learn to suffer trials and temptations to be faithful to him. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Self-denial rather than self-indulgence is necessary for our salvation. The temptation to give up and give in is the encroachment of self-pity and self-indulgence. Such impulses destroy rather than build godly character. 

Because of Our Commitment to the Lord

It matters because we have made a commitment to love and obey the Lord with all of our heart, mind, and soul. We do not want to do things which destroy that commitment, but we want to do things that renew and strengthen it. 

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:3-4). 

In becoming Christians, we committed ourselves to walk a new life and not return to the old ways of sin, disobedience, and rebellion against God. 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Rom. 12:1-2). 

There is no higher commitment we make in life than to serve the Lord. To break this holy and sacred vow is to violate and nullify every vestige of honor, honesty, and integrity in our soul.

Because of Heaven and Hell

It matters because we want to spend eternity in heaven with God where there is no more sin, guilt, sorrow, sickness, darkness, depression, and death. It matters because we do not want to spend eternity in hell with Satan where there is constant torment, guilt, disappointment, darkness, depression, anguish, regret, pain, and punishment. On the Judgment Day, we want to hear our Lord say to us, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” We do not want to hear him say to us, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into   everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. . . . And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matt. 25:34, 41, 46). In spite of every trial or test, we must press on in serving the Lord in view of the Judgment Day.

Because We Take Others With Us

It matters because if we are saved, we will take others with us to heaven, but if we are lost, we will take others with us to hell. When we serve God, our light shines in this dark world in such a way as to encourage other Christians to keep on serving God and to help those who are lost find their way to God. “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life” (Phil. 2:14-16). When we live in sin, we become a stumblingblock or offense to others, thus causing them to be lost, and thus bringing upon ourselves the great wrath of God. 
 
But whoso shall offend (be a stumblingblock to) one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! (Matt. 18:6-7)

Just as someone was concerned for our soul and taught us the truth, others depend on the light of our teaching, example, and influence so that they can be saved. Often, we do not even realize whom we may be helping when we do what is right and live for the Lord. There are some people in the world who know no other true Christian but each one of us! Only God can measure the impact for good we already have had, and the impact we can have in the future if we continue to serve the Lord! Yes, each individual light matters very much!

Because of the Love Christians Share

It matters because of the love we all share for each other as Christians. 

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently. . . . Love the brotherhood. . . . Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful (compassionate), be courteous. . . . And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins (1 Pet. 1:22; 2:17; 3:8: 4:8).

There is a special love shared by all of those who love the Lord because we share a common faith, we share common trials and temptations, and we share the common goal of helping each other reach heaven. 

We share that love by reaching out to each other to seek and to give advice, counsel, comfort, encouragement, and strength in times of trial. This special love is shared by taking time to listen to each other, to discuss temptations we face, to read God’s Word together, to weep together over failures and tragedies, to rejoice together over successes and victories, and to pray for each other. 

For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members of one another.       . . . Let love be without dissimulation. . . . Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love. . . . Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. . . . Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another (Rom. 12:4-16). 

If we give up and give in, we abandon and isolate ourselves from all of those who truly love us — and who need our love. This is too high a price to pay for the folly of sin. 

Because of Our Fellowship with God

It matters because we find strength, encouragement, meaning, satisfaction, comfort, peace, and purpose in life only in God. Our fellowship with God is the whole meaning and purpose of life. It matters because we must keep our focus on God. When we lose our focus on God and our fellowship with God, we sink into a sea of discouragement, deception, sin, disobedience, rebellion, and evil. 

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man (Eccl. 12:13). 
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:3-7). 

I create the fruit of the lips (God makes the beautiful message which follows possible); Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked (Isa. 57:19-21).

Yes, it matters very much what decisions we make and what steps we take in life. If we have been drifting away from God, it matters very much that we confess our sins to God, ask our brethren to pray for us, and seek God’s forgiveness. Our brethren will rejoice with us! The angels will rejoice with us! God will rejoice with us! If we have been drifting away from our focus on God and our fellowship with God, now is the time to change that. We must not let Satan deceive us and destroy us. God can save us and help us to go forward in his service.

Conclusion

When we reach out to God and to our brethren, we will be able to make the right decision in times of trial, temptation, and weariness. As a result, we will draw closer to God. Each battle we face and win with God’s help makes us stronger. The fact that God has a plan to help us demonstrates that he believes in our capacity to grow stronger in Christ with his help. Let us say with Paul, 

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:13-14). 

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6:9-10). 

Yes, it matters in every way what we do. We must not give up and surrender our souls to Satan. We must press forward in serving God every day, every step of the way, until we receive the crown of everlasting life.

3505 Horse Run Ct., Shepherdsville, Kentucky 40165

Truth Magazine Vol. XLV: 6  p18  March 15, 2001
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