Friday, July 8, 2011

Have you ever wanted to give up?

     Everyone hits rough spots in life. You begin to feel beat down, bummed out and down right bad. Nothing is going right, and not only is it not going right, but it continues to deteriorate. I've been there. It's not pretty, and it's anything but easy. Most of the time it is a case of everything "ganging up" on you. It's not one or two unfortunate situations, but a whole conflagration of trouble from multiple directions.
     Then it hits you, your tired, wore out, and exhausted. You don't have to stay down. Each and everyone of us goes through this from time to time (if your honest with yourself), but we have hope. We have Jesus Christ!
      Now if you ever think that you have it bad, think about the Apostle Paul. He was under stress from being a leader in the church, as well as having suffered numerous persecutions:

  Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one--I am talking like a madman--with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
(2Co 11:23-30 ESV)
Yet, Paul did not allow this to discourage him. He repeatedly turned to Christ for focus and comfort. At the end of his life, while awaiting execution in a Roman prison, Paul composed his final epistle. Writing to Timothy, Paul briefly reflected on his hardships, and the fact that he was able to pull through them in order to serve God till the end.  We also have that strength available to us, all we must do is ask in genuine prayer. God has sent His Holy Spirit to dwell inside of us, but we must listen, and humble ourselves to the Lord. Often times I find that I thrash around like an animal with my head in a trap, not allowing the God of creation the opportunity to set me free from my agony.

Do you struggle with frustration, fatigue, exhaustion or a feeling of failure? Please leave a comment below, or a prayer request.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
(Rom 8:28 ESV)

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