Have you ever been tempted with the idea to just give up and leave the faith? To go with the rest of the world and allow it to answer your problems rather than God, because things just aren’t working out and living by faith is starting to drain the life out of you?
I have. Being a Christian in this day and age can be very challenging, especially in a world where everything is designed to distract you from God and living out the purpose in which he created you for.
As if that ain’t enough, the world seems to be doing so much better than you, people who don’t even believe in God are living what appears to be prosperous and fulfilling lives, while you, who has God; (you know the giver of every good thing including life) aren’t doing so well, in fact you’re struggling, things aren’t falling into place for you, scriptures like Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus… are starting to look like a myth, and your faith is crumbling, you’re not seeing the fruits of your faith and patience, the thought of lowering your standards and using illegitimate ways (sin) to meet your legitimate needs are beginning to look more appealing.
I guess it’s normal for us as human beings to feel like this, after all we operate through a carnal mind.
After crying out to God when I was feeling this way, I later realised how selfish it was of me to even sit there and compare myself to those in the world, when I know I’m on a totally different path and the bible clearly says…
Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. Philippians 3:19
I also realised that I was very ungrateful. This is only a season, and the thing about seasons is this…..THEY DO NOT LAST FOREVER. How did I manage to forget that? Oh I know why, because I had cluttered my mind with thoughts of comparison, discontent and ingratitude instead of trusting in God. I hadn’t allowed this scripture to be my reality because somehow I forgot that Christ was my biggest reward even though I did nothing to deserve Him (Silly me):
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. (Philippians 3:7-9)
I may not have it all, but God is all I need, all the things I thought I had gained in the world; friendships, popularity, attention from guys, you name it, none of those measure up or even come close to the advantage of knowing Christ. And until I see Him as my ultimate reward, I will never be content. I have to actively remind myself of who God is and everything He has done for me, or if not I will find myself slipping away from him. God requires us to be content with Him, and what we have; whether it is small or plenty, and the season we are in, whether good or bad.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1st Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in ALL circumstances, including the bad, hard I know but that is where we grow in our Godly character. The question you have to ask yourself is; How am I allowing God to work on my character at this time? What is God preparing me for in this season so that I’m equipped for whats to come next? (That also goes for the next life to come). The truth of the matter is, even if we get what we’ve been praying to God for, (a job, spouse, car, promotion, wealth, etc) whatever it is, it still won’t bring true joy. It will bring happiness yes, but each of these things come packaged with their own problems. They ought not to be the source of our joy, because they are temporary.
Constantly remind yourself why you became a Christian in the first place. Was it to get nice things from God, live a comfortable and easy life? Or was it because you truly desired a loving relationship with Him no matter the cost?
If your response is the first, then I’ll advise you to reconsider your decision, it is promised we will have life in abundance, will it be easy? No. Will it be rewarding? Yes
If your response is the latter, then make it your focus to count the blessings, God wants us to overcome these damaging thoughts “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”…2 Corinthians 10:5. So why not replace the thoughts of discontent with the opposite contentedness, satisfaction, pleasure and ease. Ingratitude with gratitude, appreciation and consideration. Comparisons to the world with comparisons to God’s standards, (Philippians 4) study out relevant scriptures for each term and let the word change your heart as you begin to pursue these attributes.
I love this conversation Peter had with Jesus in John 6, it sums up my final thoughts, on this topic.
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.) John 6:66-71
Notice, it is said only 1 of the 12 disciples betrayed Jesus, even though all 12 abandoned him before his death. Only 1 was classed as the betrayal, but why? Because even though the other 11 denied and abandoned him, they came back, acknowledged their wrongs and repented. Judas however, didn’t return. To sin against God is not betrayal but to give up on him and to quit is.
Not everyone who started off with Christ, finished with Him, many will quit and leave the faith as result of their ingratitude and discontent. Don’t forget satan, he is the biggest example of someone who once was an angel of the Lord, cast out because of his evil covetousness, and he is now looking for people who will follow in his path. Do not let that be you.
Out of the 7 billion people in this world, Jesus chose you and I. He sees something in each one of us, that is worthy of His pursuit, whenever you are tempted to give up your faith because of discontent, have this in the forefront of your mind “Where will I go, now that I know and have the truth”.
Endure and even embrace this journey called life and remember that there is an eternal glory that awaits us which far outweighs all the pleasures of this world.
Do not give up on Him because he will never give up on you.