Pastor, Journey Christian Church
All of us have some areas in life where we’re tired, or frustrated. We want to see progress but it’s been slow and we feel like giving up. But what are you really giving up on? You’ve asked God to do or fix some things and He hasn’t. You’ve brought some broken things to God but it just seems more broken than ever. You’ve asked God to do or fix some things and He hasn’t. What you’re giving up on is God.
The Christians in Corinthians were disillusioned. They thought, “If I follow Jesus, then the path is going to be clear. If God’s my Father, then things are going to get easier, not harder.”
But that’s not what was happening.
Things were more difficult even before they became Christians. They’re looking at the circumstances of life, it doesn’t seem like things are going their way and they’re losing faith. Paul writes don’t give up. In 2 Corinthians 4:7, he uses a metaphor of a jar of clay.
Jars of clay are fragile. Paul’s saying, “That’s us. That’s a metaphor for life. We’re jars of clay in a hard world.”
He wants to encourage and challenge them to not give up. Because when you feel like the jar has been busted and pieces are everywhere, that’s when we feel like giving up.
Let me ask you, “Was there a time when you gave up on God? And why?”
Identify that season of your life.
My guess is that something bad happened. There was a difficult situation and you asked God for help. He didn’t do much, so you gave up on God. You might not say you’ve given up on God, but you stopped praying. We have these expectations. You prayed specifically, “God, don’t let this happen,” and that’s exactly what happened. The natural tendency is to give up on God. Why didn’t He protect, provide, help, or heal?
A lot of us have a mantra in our head when we’re discouraged and giving up on God. We think He doesn’t care. However, God gives us a different mantra.
He’s going to challenge us with faith. He’s doesn’t describe faith as pretending everything is okay when everything isn’t. He keeps it real, but encouraging.
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NLT
Pressures cannot crush us. I’m not saying you won’t feel pressure, but you are not crushed, because of the hope we have in Jesus. In the book of Exodus, Moses leads the people out of slavery in Egypt. Pharaoh decides, “That was a bad idea. I want the slaves back.” He sends his army to go after the Israelites. The Red Sea is in front of them; the army is coming behind them. The pressure is on, and what do they do? They panic and then blame and complain.
Instead of looking at how God has delivered us in the past, instead of thinking for a moment how far He has brought us—we panic and then we blame and complain.
“It used to be better.” We blame and complain. Blaming and complaining is like the exit ramp to quitting. The people feel pressure. There doesn’t seem to be a way out.
“The Lord himself will fight for you. Just calm down.” Exodus 14:14 NLT
Here’s the challenge about that reality. God is rarely early. God has a tendency to show up just in time. There’s something about being in a position where you have nowhere to turn that God has an opportunity to demonstrate His power and strength in your life. Let God fight for you!
Until next month,
7708 Van Dyke Rd, Odessa
Services Sunday at 10:00