No one wants to be a quitter. No one. But we’ve all known the temptation to want to throw in the towel.
Last week I was on the last quarter-mile of my run when I faced a grueling hill on the way home. My legs were on fire and my lungs felt like they were breathing fire as I lumbered through the 32 degree weather. As I looked toward the top of the hill a little voice chimed in, “You’ve ran great, you don’t have to do this. This hill is too steep after the run you’ve had. Just walk it in.”
What about you? I don’t know what your steep hill looks like these days, but you do. Where are you feeling like playing the quitter card? Maybe it’s your marriage, your job, your ministry, school, a relationship, your health….maybe just life in general.
Don’t you dare. God has something better for you on the other side of that hill.
The Apostle Paul writes one of the most powerful sentences in the Bible for how to approach life. Here it is:
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Rom. 12:12
This once sentence holds 3 keys to persevering:
1. Keep Hope Alive: The moment we give up our hope for better God given outcomes, despair sweeps in. “I can’t” and “there’s no way” become our mantras. Remember your hope isn’t in yourself anyway, it’s in Christ.
2. Be patient in the pain: As I was running up that hill I realized that I was going to have to endure the pain in the my legs and lungs for only a little while if I wanted to make it to the top. As I ran, I remembered other times when I had pushed past the pain and conquered. If I was patient in the pain, I could kick this hill in the teeth. I had to remember my hill wouldn’t last forever. Neither will yours.
3. Stay Faithful in Prayer: Long before we quit life’s challenges, we quit praying. In doing so, we stop listening to God about what He thinks about our situation and start listening to ourselves, others or our culture. If we’re going to endure this test, we must no longer see prayer as a chore, but as a lifeline to the Father when we need Him most. God wants to speak life into you! Talk to Him.
Next time the quitter inside you speaks up, shove an eviction notice in his loud mouth. God has you in the palm of His hand and is working ALL things out for your good. Keep your hope alive in Him. Stay patient in the pain and keep sharing your heart with Him in prayer.