Ever feel like giving up? Just throwing in the towel?
Have you ever said something like, “I’m tired of praying and not seeing an answer. I’ve been asking God to change this situation for 15 years and nothing ever changes.” Or, “Why do I keep hoping my son will believe in Jesus? He’s never going to change.” Or, “I’m just so tired of all this conflict. I’m just so tired of trying to be a peacemaker. I’m out of here.” Or, “I’m just tired of living. I wish the Lord would just take me home.”
What should you do when you feel like giving up?
Like you’re just done with all of it? Like, what’s the point? I have felt like giving up many times. I’ve been discouraged and downcast. I’m sure not to the degree that many of you have been. But I’ve had my share. And the Bible says every believer will be tempted to give up. What can we do when we feel like quitting?
First of all, as hard as it may be, call to mind God’s promises and encourage yourself with his word.
For example, Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary in doing good for in due season we will reap if we do not give up. Or Psalm 27:13-14:
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living!
Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
When my prayers feel powerless I try to remind myself of James 5:16 …The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
As Romans 10:17 says:
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
As we remind ourselves of God’s promises, faith will rise in our hearts to keep going. It is the shield of faith which extinguishes the fiery darts of unbelief our enemy hurls at us.
If you can, focus on someone else
Another thing to do when you feel like quitting is to focus on someone else – serve someone, pray for someone else. When we focus on ourselves, what we lack, or what failures we are, or our own suffering, we can fall into self-pity. I know because I’ve done it. When we’re in pain it’s hard to think of others. But even if we can just barely mutter a prayer for someone else, that will help us to keep going.
Remind yourself that God cares for you.
You may not feel like he does, but he tells us so in his word:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
God cares for you. And because he does, he wants you to cast your cares on him. Keep fighting to trust that he cares for you and has a “proper time” to lift us up, a perfect time to answer your prayers.
When you feel like quitting, pray.
Isaiah 49:29 says: He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. But we have to ask for strength.
You do not have, because you do not ask. James 4:2
It’s humbling to have to ask God for strength. But he gives grace to those who humble themselves and ask. Ask your Father for strength to get through another day. Ask for grace to serve your kids or to forgive that person who hurt you, or to love that difficult brother.
When you feel like quitting, remember God still has works for you to walk in.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
God still has good works for you to walk in. There are still people who need to be encouraged. There are still people who need to be prayed for for salvation. What if Peter had given up and quit when he denied Jesus?
When you feel like you have but a few crumbs to offer God, remember he doesn’t need much to do great things.
Remember the loaves and fishes? All the disciples had to feed the multitudes were a few crumbs, so to speak. But Jesus took those few loaves and fishes and multiplied them to feed thousands. He can take our feeble efforts and do powerful things with them.
Remember that if you don’t give up, you might influence 1 more person.
One more prayer might have an eternal impact. You may feel like your pathetic few words are worthless, but they could lead to someone trusting Jesus for salvation. Your child or your friend may be just one prayer away from being saved. Say that prayer, even if it feels like it won’t make it past your ceiling. You never know what God will do with it.
Finally, talk to yourself. Tell yourself to hope in God:
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 43:5
When David was cast down, he talked to himself. He told himself to hope in God. He told himself that he would yet praise God sometime in the future. That’s what we need to do when we are cast down. When we feel like there is no future. We should say, “Hope in God; for I shall again praise him.”
These are a few ways we can encourage ourselves when we feel like giving up. I know they aren’t easy to do. That’s why it’s called the good fight of faith. Sometimes all we can do is put one foot in front of the other. Or just whisper a faint prayer. Don’t give up. You will again praise God.