“Don’t give up!” Those words have been strong in my spirit lately, most particularly as we near the end of what, for many, has been a very difficult year. Most likely, it’s because of the many conversations I’ve had in recent months in which people have shared their disappointments at not having accomplished some of the things they set out this year to do.
They set goals, had aspirations, made resolutions and persevered in faith, expecting to see each of them come to pass. Yet, day after day, week after week, month after month, they watched as life seemingly passed them by and they were nowhere closer to accomplishing their goals, aspirations or resolutions than at the beginning.
Now, as they see yet another year drawing to an end, they’re left thinking things like: “What went wrong?” “Why can’t I seem to do anything right?” “I’m never going to get anywhere in life, so I may as well just quit trying.”
If any of this fits where you are right now, then let me encourage you by saying that your life is not over. There’s still plenty of time for God to fulfill His purpose in and for you.
In a letter he wrote to the church at Philippi, Apostle Paul said in Philippians 1:6, New Living Translation, “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” In other words, Paul was admonishing these believers to persevere—to stick and stay no matter how difficult things looked.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Just as He created you for a purpose, God has established a time for things to happen in your life. If they haven’t happened, perhaps it’s because He’s still working that “perfect work” in you to bring about those things.
Instead of thinking about what didn’t happen for you this year, and the negative things that took place throughout the year, refocus your attention and consider the good you experienced during the year.
While this year may be coming to an end, your journey with the Lord is still ongoing. And your Heavenly Father, the God who created you in His very own image, has promised to see that you live to enjoy all the blessings He has set aside for you.
Proverbs 3:5-6, New Living Translation, tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart…Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”
Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” The Message Bible translates that verse this way, “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.”
It’s easy to become weary and frustrated when it appears that, no matter how hard we try, nothing ever seems to work out for us. But that verse in Galatians gives us every reason in the world not to let disappointments cause us to give up and quit. Read the last part of that verse again in The Message translation: “…At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.”
“At the right time….” God promises we will receive a harvest. In other words, if those things we’ve been asking Him for, and waiting to manifest are in accordance with His Word and His will for us, then they are going to be ours. We are going to reap a bountiful harvest.
But we can only expect that to happen “if we don’t give up, or quit.” It’s good to have a plan and desire to see it come to pass. But it’s much better to know that God has a plan and that, at His appointed time, it will definitely come to pass.
Don’t become discouraged if things are not working out like you expected or happening within your desired time-frame. You’ve set your goals, now it’s time to patiently wait for them to be accomplished.
Be like Apostle Paul: Persevere, and don’t give up! That’s the key to winning any battle or attaining any goal. God will see to it that you make it.
*Henry Fernandez is senior pastor of The Faith Center Ministries in Sunrise and is author of the best-selling book, Faith, Family & Finances: Strong Foundations for a Better Life. For more information, visit www.henryfernandez.org or call 1-954-742-7832.