There are always reasons to quit. We all navigate seasons of discouragement, doubt, and times when we are tempted to just give up and walk out.
We are not alone in our struggle, though. The guy who wrote most of the New Testament, Paul, dealt with this struggle so much that he devoted a whole chapter in the Bible to the issue. He opens and closes 2 Corinthians 4 with this one phrase: “We do not lose heart.”
Question: How did Paul keep from quitting? How did he keep from throwing in the towel? In a world of frustration, disappointment and heartbreak, how do you and I keep from quitting?
2 Corinthians 4 gives us hope!
1. Identify the Cause. vs. 1-4
We all get discouraged. Paul experienced major trials. As great of a guy as Paul was, he was still human and was tempted to quit.
For us to have hope, we need to start by identifying the things that cause us to want to quit. Here are some common causes:
- You’ve been lied to.
- Things didn’t turn out as planned.
- Tragedy in your life.
- Drama with kids.
- Workplace issues.
- Gossiped about.
Losing heart starts with an emotional experience. The experience leads to doubt. Doubt leads to sadness. This sadness ends in discouragement. It’s going to happen!
2. Stay grounded. vs. 5
It’s easy to over-react when discouragement sets in. Instead, we have to say, “God, give me faith once again to trust.” Trusting Him keeps us grounded.
“We preach not ourselves…” vs. 5-6
Here are some statements to ground yourself:
- Jesus is the one who is in control.
- He is the light in the middle of my situation.
- He gives me what I need in those situations.
- He is the power in the hopeless situation.
These statements remind you of who He is and what He’s done.
3. Lighten Up. vs. 7
Paul explains that we are all ordinary vessels – none of us are fine china. We all have flaws.
Many of us quit because of what other people do to us. We place them on a pedestal and they end up letting us down. We must not let the actions of others cause you to quit on what God has asked you to do.
Let it go. Lighten up. Bosses, spouses, parents, kids, and pastors are all just people. Cut people some slack and quit being angry with God. People are not perfect.
4. Fuel your faith. vs. 8-18
Paul learned to do one thing: focus on Jesus. This focus fueled his faith.
We too have to focus on the Jesus. If we suffer, it is for Jesus’ sake. If we die to self, it is so that the life of Christ might be revealed in us. If we go through trials, it is so that Christ might be glorified. And all of this is for the sake of others. As we serve Christ, death works in us–but life works in those to whom we minister.
A life that costs nothing accomplishes nothing.
If Jesus conquered death, the last enemy, then why fear anything else?
We don’t live for the moment but for eternity.
Question: What has helped you get through seasons of quitting?