How often do we think about quitting? There may be situations in our lives which can become so difficult that we get to the point where we believe that the only option we have left is to simply quit. That is, quitting God’s Way of Life. Are problems so intense that we can’t overcome them? How often do we make mistakes in life? How often do we fail? Do we actually have a desire to succeed?
Michael Jordan, who is considered one of the best basketball players of all time, famously stated that through failure, he was able to become successful. He said, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” He didn’t quit when things got difficult, but instead he became motivated to overcome his failings and made an effort to become the greatest that he could be. He also said, “I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying.”
Is this the kind of attitude we should have when it comes to our spiritual lives? The Bible gives us the answer in many different ways. Proverbs 10:4-5 tells us how to be productive. “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.” Ecclesiastes 9:10 tells us, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.” It involves effort on our part, for we plan, but God directs (Proverbs 16:9).
We read many examples in the Bible of those who went through difficult times. God was always there to help in those situations, offering encouragement, strength, and patience. Often times, God will test our reactions when we go through a particular trial for the purpose of succeeding. The choice, however, is up to us, for God will not force us into obeying Him. He provides us with all the tools we need to live a righteous and fruitful life.
We will continue to face challenges, especially in the society we live in, as the majority of the people we are in contact with do not believe what we do. Some may tolerate or even respect our beliefs but they don’t agree with them. What we are doing today as part of God’s Church is what God commands us to do, by proclaiming the message of the Kingdom of God and being examples, even though many will not listen. But some will! That is why we need to keep going, through our obedient example, for we do not know who will respond to be saved from the end time’s devastation that is coming upon this world. In light of our desire to help others, do we have enough faith to overcome the trials and shortcomings that we go through, which is necessary for our success? (Compare Hebrews 11:32-34.)
No, quitting is not an option. We have a goal for which we are striving. “… I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).
In addition, we also need to remain confident that with God’s help, we will succeed. “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: ‘For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:35-39).
We must continue to be watchful and on guard as we keep moving forward. As times will get tougher, we will get stronger as we overcome, because it will all be worth it in the end.