What is something difficult you are going through right now?
How do you respond to difficulty? Do you respond with anger? Discouragement? Cynicism? Determination?
How can you tell when you’ve begun to quit?
God Never Quits on Us
The Eternal is compassionate and merciful. When we cross all the lines, He is patient with us. When we struggle against Him, He lovingly stays with us-changing, convicting, prodding.
Psalm 103:8 VOICE
God has been sticking with you whether you realize it or not.
Even when we’ve been resistant, unbelieving, or uncaring, he has stuck with us because he believes in us.
How do you see God has stuck with you this entire time regardless of how you’ve responded to difficulty?
Fight the Fatigue
So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.
Galatians 6:9-10 MSG
Do you find yourself getting fatigued in doing good?
How about in a relationship? Are you tempted to quit on someone because it is proving to be more challenging than you expected to help someone?
Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
Romans 12:11-13 MSG
What does it look like when you start to burnout?
You know you are burned out when you are grinding through life, trying to do the same thing over and over.
Faith makes you inventive with your efforts
H.O.P.E: Hold On…the Power of Endurance
Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water? While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass. Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless. What they trust in is fragile; what they rely on is a spider’s web. They lean on the web, but it gives way; they cling to it, but it does not hold.
Job 8:11-15 NIV
Is your hope thriving or perishing?
When our hope isn’t in God, what we hope for perishes.
There are a number places we can be putting our hope in. Which one of these are the most familiar to you?
Blind hope – A hope that is blindly optimistic, but not rooted in anything.
Circumstantial hope – A hope that is based on a set of circumstances.
Humanistic hope – A hope rooted in people/yourself.
Emotional hope – A hope that is purely based on your given emotional state at this moment.
The Door to Hope
There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
Hosea 2:15 NIV
The word Achor means “trouble”
God says that in the place of trouble he is going to open a door of Hope.
A door is only useful if you decide to walk through it.
What trouble are you in that God is trying to give you hope for?
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV
The only way difficulty can take you out is when you don’t take the way out that God is trying to provide. But if you do, you can endure anything.
Do you see the door that God has opened for you to walk through?
Are you taking the steps to walk through the door God has opened for you?
At times we run into difficulty because we can be upset about a situation in our life. Yet we fail to see that things could be different, resisting to walk through the door that God has opened for us.
The Struggle is the Shine
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed,but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.
2 Corinthians 4:6-11 NIV
When you don’t quit in the midst of difficulty and allow the struggle to turn you to God, people begin to notice.
Not only does God get glorified through this, but other people get hope when they see you struggle and overcome with God.
How can you deepen your relationship with God by taking your struggle to him?
When we Stick with People we Change People
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard-things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Galatians 5:22 MSG
Just as God sticks with us, we too change people’s live when we stick with them.
What purpose do you see through the difficulty you are facing?
Whose life are you supposed to change by learning to stick with them?