Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Christian: Quitting is Easy, but There's No Reward

You’ve spend the whole evening with your evangelism partners, calling on individuals who were either referred to you, or who filled out a visitor’s card, or maybe you’ve just made random visits this evening. The first two weren’t home. The next lady was too distracted by kids and phones ringing to really listen to what you had to say about the Gospel. The next guy slammed the door in your face and said don’t come back. Finally, the last two on the list said “gee, thanks for coming by, but this isn’t a good time…” You didn’t have a single chance to sit down and really share the good news of the love of Christ and what He did on the cross for their salvation. You are discouraged, because last week was basically the same scenario. It would be easy to quit. You could do something else “more constructive” on Tuesday nights…

For years you’ve been lovingly and patiently trying to get your Uncle to understand your faith. Still, when the subject would come up, he would either make light of it or patronize you: “Hey, if that’s what you believe, go for it. I’m happy for you. It’s just not for me.” You love your Uncle, and want him to share eternity with you, but lately, when you try to bring the subject up, he gets defensive and agitated and starts cursing. It breaks your heart that he seems so hardened, and you fear for his soul. You’ve prayed and wept over him, and it doesn’t appear that there is any chance that he’ll ever get saved. It would be easy to quit. Get your mind off of it. Focus on something or someone else.

You’ve been at your job for years. You’ve always gotten along well with everyone, and loved what you do. It was a pleasure and privilege to come to work everyday. But lately, since one of your co-workers got promoted, they’ve become a real pain. All of a sudden, nothing anybody does is right. You’ve got increased demands on you. Everyone is under pressure. You are working yourself to death, but feel unappreciated. They always want more. And all the hard work and extra things you do are going unnoticed and unappreciated. And though you try to live your faith by example, the office chatter and loose talk seem to mock you. Never mind that off-color jokes and foul mouthed conversation offend you. At the end of the day, you are exhausted, discouraged, and feel helpless. Morning comes and you don’t want to get out of bed. You dread another day at the office. It would be easy to quit. There are other jobs out there. Ones where you would be appreciated…

After years of marriage, your spouse is gone, maybe because of death, or maybe divorce. Suddenly you feel very alone. You look at your kids and wonder how this is going to affect them. How will you live by yourself? Will you be able to support yourself? What about the lonliness? Everything seems different. There’s a piece of the puzzle missing. You really don’t want to be in this situation. Life at the moment doesn’t seem very kind or very encouraging. It would be easy to quit. Just fold up and die. Then there would be no more pain…

You've been healthy all your life, and now suddenly the Doctor is giving you news you don't want to hear. You don't have time to be sick. You have important things to do. But now, it seems you are being told it's all over. Your life is about to radically change. It would be easy to quit. Just give up and give in to this illness. What's the use of fighting it, right? After all, the odds are against you.

We all want to quit sometimes. We may have believed when we became a Christian that it was all going to be downhill from now on. No more problems…clear sailing…a bed of roses.

Scripture says otherwise.

Paul said “Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” II Timothy 3:12

Once we realize this, we need to claim the promises of God (Psalms 30:5) and through HIS strength (Philippians 4:13) refuse to take the easy way out and give up. No matter what valley we are in, there is a reason why we are there, and we should seek that reason through prayer and study of Scripture, as well as seek counsel from other strong Christians. We should never be too proud to ask for prayer. And if we will wait on God to act, and to show us what His plan is in the situation we’re in, He will be there for us, and He will strengthen us (Isaiah 40:31) and get us through it. Life is short (James 4:14), and as my pastor pointed out tonite, there are crowns to be earned for overcoming temptation (James 1:12), which far outweigh the temporary pain of our hardships.

I don’t want to be a quitter. I long to hear these words someday…

“… Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:21

By not quitting, you just might see the following:

Somebody might get saved.
Someone’s heart may be softened.
You may receive comfort from an unexpected source
You may come through the valley better off than when you traveled into it.
You may impact someone’s life where no one else could.

The next time you are tempted to take the easy way out and quit, remember the Garden of Gethsemane, and the words your Saviour spoke in prayer…
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42

Scripture References:

Psalms 30:5:“For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

James 4:14: "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."

James 1:12: “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

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At 8:41 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

Thanks for this... I feel like quitting every day.

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

If you feel like quitting every day, that must mean you are under attack, and you must be under attack because you are serving God. So indirectly, that is a know you are in God's will - otherwise the enemy wouldn't be harassing you.


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