When You Want to Quit

by | Oct 27, 2010 | Spirit-Led Living

At times giving up may seem reasonable. But the nature of faith is seeing and doing the impossible.


Everyone
at one time or another has wanted to give up! Even Jesus wanted to give
up when He faced the cross. Knowing His footsteps would soon lead Him
to agony and shame, He asked the Father “‘O My Father, if it is
possible, let this cup pass from Me'” (Matt. 26:39, NKJV).

In
essence, He was saying, If there is another way to accomplish Your will,
Father, could we go with plan B? Jesus was faced with the choice of
giving up or pressing on.

It is the
same choice we have all faced when circumstances have brought us to a
place of giving up. We know that if we give up, we will be relieved of
the pressure of the moment. And if we press on, we will continue to face
all the obstacles that brought us to that point.

The problem
with giving up is that you have already chosen the outcome of your
situation. Failure is always the result of quitting. You trade possible
victory for momentary relief.

Successful people are those who
have learned to turn crisis moments into stepping stones to future
victory. Thomas Edison is a good example.

On his quest to invent
the light bulb, Edison tried more than 3,000 theories and tested more
than 6,000 elements to find the perfect filament. Think of it this way:
If he had tried one theory a day and was able to work every day of the
year, it would have taken him around nine years to come up with the best
and final solution to his problem.

What if he had stopped the fifth time things didn’t work? What about the 100th? What about the 1,000th?

Seemingly impossible situations face each and every one of us. The question is: How will you deal with yours?

What
impossible situation are you facing right now? Is it your marriage? A
doctor’s diagnosis? Your finances? Your children? Giving up may seem to
be your only solution, but I believe God’s plans for you are for
prosperity and success.

UNRESOLVABLE SITUATIONS
It
is often the tedious, day-to-day situations that seem never to change
that make you want to give up. The Bible says that hope deferred makes
the heart sick. Discouragement develops into despair, and we lose our
hope.

The loss of hope is a deadly condition for the believer.
Without hope faith cannot operate. “Faith is the substance of things
hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1, emphasis added).

The nature of faith is to believe the impossible and see the
invisible. We give up because we put our faith in what we know and see
in the natural.

Think about the situations in your life that make
you want to quit. Do you use words such as “never” and “always” when
you describe your circumstances?

Sometimes we believe we will
never be able to overcome because of words spoken over our lives for a
prolonged period of time. I had this experience.

Being overweight
was common on both sides of my family. As a child, I was constantly
reminded of my size through comments about my weight. During those early
years, I believed I would “never” be the right size and I would
“always” struggle with my weight.

I continually tried to diet but
would give up because I could not see a permanent solution. Finally,
with the Lord’s help, I realized that dealing with my weight issues
would require an ongoing commitment to good health–and for the last
five years I have lost about 10 pounds a year.

Don’t give up
because there seems to be no answer. If you truly believe that “all
things work together for good to those who love God” (Rom. 8:28) then
you know that the situations you face are resolvable with God’s help.

WRONG PERCEPTION
The
Bible says that “as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov.
23:7). If you do not see yourself as victorious in a given situation you
will inevitably give up.

You know the Old Testament story about
the spies who went into the Promised Land. The land was full of great
blessing and abundance, but it was also full of giants.

Ten of
the 12 spies were fixed on the enemy’s size. When they compared
themselves to the giants they perceived themselves to be grasshoppers.
Their perception caused them to believe they could not be victorious so
they gave up.

Two of the spies fixed their eyes on the abundant
fruit and determined that they were well able to take the land (see Num.
13:30). Because Joshua and Caleb saw themselves as victors, they
received their promises.

A grasshopper mentality will always rob
you of your promise. The Israelites were on the edge of the Promised
Land, but they allowed fear to delay the gift of God.

WEARINESS
In
Daniel 7:25, an angel revealed the enemy’s end-time strategy. “And he
shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the
saints of the Most High” (KJV).

The enemy of your soul has an
assignment to wear you out–to make you so tired you lose your
motivation to fight! The intimidation of the enemy is specifically
designed to overwhelm you and stop you from making forward progress.

When
we become overwhelmed, we lose our strength to resist. I know many
parents who have lost their place of authority in their children’s lives
because the responsibilities overcame them.

When our two girls
were small, we made decisions regarding our philosophy of child
training. We did not allow them to eat sugar or watch TV programs about
witches and sorcerers.

We also did not allow them to date until they were 16. They had curfews and accountability.

Everyone
in our lives thought we were being too hard on our kids. It was very
difficult to enforce our beliefs because of the lack of support.

All
their friends were dating earlier. They were constantly being
ostracized by their peer group because they did not fit in. Sometimes I
felt so overwhelmed by the pressure to conform, I considered compromise.

When you go against the tide, your strength will be tested and
you must resist the desire to give in. I’m glad God gave me the grace to
stand firm. Our daughters are now married to godly men, are serving
Jesus and are raising their own children in the fear of the Lord.

FEELING ALONE
There
is no question that our power is multiplied when we join others in
agreement. That’s why one of the enemy’s favorite tactics is to divide
and conquer.

About 10 years ago, at the Lord’s direction, I moved
with my family to Lakeland, Florida, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, after
serving for four years as a campus pastor at Oral Roberts University. We
established a new headquarters for our ministry, joined a great church
and started forming new relationships.

Unfortunately, because of
our travel schedule, it was difficult to develop a circle of friends.
Several months after relocating, our youngest daughter had a physical
crisis. We took her to the emergency room, and the doctors told us she
might not live through the night.

After the initial shock, my
husband and I tried to think of someone we could call to be with us for
support. Sadly, we realized we were alone. All our family and friends
were in Texas and Oklahoma.

The darkness of that night was so
deep and heavy I didn’t think I could take the next breath. As the sun
rose the next morning, we received the good news that our daughter had
received a miracle and would be perfectly restored.

Though we
rejoiced in God’s goodness, the effects of that lonely night eroded our
commitment to obey God. We immediately began to make arrangements to
move back to Texas. We had given up.

Before we left, I called one
of my few friends in Florida, Joy Strang. Although she lived more than
an hour away, Joy had always been an encourager in my life, and I
greatly appreciated her wisdom and insight.

When we met for
lunch, I began to tell her about our ordeal and our decision to go back
“home” where our support system was established. She laid down her fork
and asked me one simple question: “Has the Lord finished with you here?”

With those words, the sword of Truth pierced my lonely and
disappointed heart. I had given up the vision and purpose of God because
I believed it was too hard to obey, and I needed someone to help me see
where the shipwreck had occurred.

We need each other as brothers
and sisters in the Lord. We are destined to succeed in the kingdom of
God together. If we distance ourselves from one another we lose the
strength to finish the course.

As a result of Joy’s piercing
question, we remained in Florida and went on to establish a facility for
leadership restoration and training, a school of ministry and a local
church. Thousands of lives have been touched and changed through our
decision to obey and not give up.

Many opportunities are
presented to us on a daily basis to give up. However, God’s plan for us
is always to succeed. So when you feel like giving up, use these tools
to help you fight the giant of defeat.

COME INTO AGREEMENT WITH GOD’S WORD
When
we are faced with overwhelming challenges our thought life goes into
overdrive. We can think of every reason why we can’t and why we
shouldn’t.

As negative thoughts flood our minds, we begin to
agree with them, and then we find ourselves speaking them. Before we
know it we have convinced ourselves that what we think is so.

Agreement
is a powerful kingdom principle. Jesus told His disciples, “‘If two of
you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done
for them by My Father in heaven'” (Matt. 18:19).

The Bible tells
us that man will have to give account for every idle word he speaks (see
Matt. 12:36). That word “idle” is very significant. It means inactive,
useless and barren.

Whether we realize it or not, as we speak out
words in relation to our situations we are coming into agreement with
something or someone. Once the agreement is made a plan is set into
motion for success or failure. That’s why it is imperative to know what
God has to say about our situations and to come into agreement with Him.

I do not know what you are facing today, but I can promise you
that God has something to say about it. I want to encourage you to go to
His Word and come into agreement with it.

If, when you do this,
the opposition increases, remember that when Jesus was in the wilderness
He faced much opposition and discouragement. But the Bible says that as
He continued to speak the Word of God, agreement was established, and
after a season Satan departed from Him.

There is a dynamic of
human nature that is proved time and again; we rise to the level of
demand that is placed on us. Difficult circumstances make a demand on us
to excel and exceed our limitations. We never know what is in us until
we are faced with a demand for greater.

Human nature always
chooses the lesser and would settle for simple comfort. But just as the
mother eagle stirs her nest to nudge the eaglets into flight, God allows
and uses our difficulties to teach us how to fly.

We all face
moments when we want to give up. As believers we must be willing to face
these moments with courage, faith and utmost trust in God’s ability to
bring us to victory.


Shirley Arnold
is pastor, along with her husband, Steve, of TLC Family Church in
Lakeland, Florida. They have also established The Spirit Life School of
Theology, The Secret Place Associated Network of Ministries and The
Secret Place Training Facility. She is the author of several books and
ministers in churches and conferences around the world.

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