Sometimes I think about giving up on God. I do. Life can get really hard, and I don’t see God’s plan, and I think about giving up. It’s part of loving people and caring for them. When I see what other people are facing, the pain they are dealing with, sometimes it makes me ask questions to God about how faithful He is, and gives me thoughts about quitting.
David felt like this too. In Psalm 73, David writes:
“1 Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”
You see what is going on here? He knows that God is good, but still he almost slipped. He came close to blowing it, to giving up. He looks around, sees how people who are not following God seem to be living, and thinks about calling it quits.
We all do every so often. We begin to feel like “What’s the point?” We try and try, and only seem to fall behind. David puts it like this:
“13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
and have washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.
15 If I had spoken out like that,
I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply”
It’s not the thought of quitting that is the problem. It’s what solution do we take? Do we toss in the towel? I’ve seen quite a bit of that over my time in ministry, that’s for sure. People give up, walk away, and don’t come back. Jesus even tells us that will happen. So, what is it that separates those who quit from those who stay?
Here is David’s answer to that one:
“21 When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.”
Do we stop and remind ourselves of all that we have seen and experienced God doing in our lives? Do we let Him hold us by our right hand? Or do we pull away? It’s a choice. It’s completely a choice. One is no harder than the other. What will we do?
I’ve got to admit, those times I want to quit, it doesn’t take long to come back around to David’s point of view. Who do I have in heaven, but You? Who can I possibly hope in if I give up on You? What on earth has any draw besides You? Everything I can chase leaves me empty and broken. You are it. You are my hope. I grew up around a goofy, silly phrase that actually fits here; “You can’t go back to hot dogs once you’ve had fillet Mignon.” It’s dumb, but kind of true.
Please, don’t quit. Remember what God has done for you. Look around and see what He is doing today. He is here. Trust Him.
Where else can we go that is better?