Give Up

Occasionally, we hit rough patches, don’t we? Sometimes our difficulties swarm around us, triggering a wide array of reactions, many of them not-so-good. I relate, and much more than I would like to admit. The feelings of being overwhelmed, frustrated, upset, angry, helpless, among many other negative emotions trap me most when I let my guard down, lose sight of my values, and become weak. I don’t think I’m alone in having a positive attitude that sometimes fails.

The hardest part is having the conscious awareness that I should know better. It is helpful to know that the situations causing me to stumble are insignificant when placed in the right perspective, but it is not always helpful. Even with the truth of the matter staring me in the face, emotions persist and the hardness of reality refuses to bend. The question then emerges, “what is one to do when struggling against one’s self?” The answer? Quite simply, give up.

Give up fighting alone. Our weakness becomes strengthened immeasurably when we use the resources made available to us by God. Ephesians 6:11 reminds us to “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Without Godly truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, prayer, and the Holy Spirit, we are defenseless against the force of frustration that we may face. When we make use of what God has freely provided to us, we have an immense and powerful hope that can lead us to bravely overcome our struggles.

Give up relying on our own strength. Submitting ourselves to God and admitting to that we are not strong enough to solve our problems alone is extremely humbling. But, we are reminded that even Jesus Christ proclaimed without shame that He could do nothing without God. We are in the same position. Jesus Himself tells us about how He is behind everything that we do. When His word was recorded in John 15:5, He said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him bears much fruit. For without me you can do nothing.” There is strength in knowing that when we allow Jesus Christ to live in us, He supports us in doing everything. How encouraging it is to know that we have such an Advocate!

Give up on relying on our own view of an immovable reality, and instead prove our faith. Having the faith of Christ, that God will fulfill His plan – no matter what – is the hope that we must have. This same hope gives us the power to see through sticky and nasty situations presented to us. Our faith must not be empty, but proven by action. James 2:22 tells us that faith is made perfect by action. We do this by acting consistently with our beliefs. By contrast, a discouraged spirit causes us to act contrary to our faith. There is no way to perfect our faith with a hopeless attitude. Reminding ourselves of the substance of our faith is vital to overcoming difficult situations.

However, there is one thing we must not give up on – trying. When we give up trying, we give in to the snares of Satan, allowing him to govern the course of our behavior. By continuing to try to overcome the difficulties of life, we make our faith manifest and prove our trust in God. Psalm 55:22 gives us some good advice, “Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” We cannot forget that we have the hope and strength of God to support us as long as we don’t give up on Him.

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