Friday – Don’t Give Up
By Jon Bloom, Desiring God
In a very real way, Jesus gives rest to “all who labor and are heavy laden” and come to him (Matthew 11:28). But in this age, we cannot find complete rest. In this age, Jesus grants us the gospel rest of ceasing the impossible labor of self-atonement for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21). But in embracing the gospel, we find ourselves also drafted into a war — a war to keep believing the gospel and a war to keep spreading it to others. In this age we “strive to enter that [complete] rest” of the age to come (Hebrews 4:11).
Wars are exhausting — especially long ones. That’s why you are often tired. Many soldiers, who experience the fierceness of combat, want to get out of it. That’s why you’re tempted to escape. That’s why you’re tempted to give up.
But don’t give up. No, rather “take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded” (2 Chronicles 15:7).
Don’t give up when that familiar sin, still crouching at your door after all these years, pounces again with temptation. Don’t give up when you feel that deep soul weariness from long battles with persistent weaknesses.
Don’t give up when your long asked-and-sought-and-knocked-for prayers have not yet been answered. Don’t give up when the devil’s fiery darts of doubt find flesh and make you reel.
Don’t give up when you have failed in sin. Don’t wallow. Repent (again), get your eyes off yourself (again), and fix your eyes on Jesus (again). Get up and get back in the fight.
Living by faith in “things not seen” is hard (Hebrews 11:1). Jesus reminds us: “the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:14). But the way has always been hard, and you are not alone in the difficulty. You are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who have passed this way ahead of you (Hebrews 12:1). Many have suffered far more and have remained faithful. Remember them and imitate their faith (Hebrews 13:7).
Above all, remember Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:8). Jesus knows your works (Revelation 2:2) and he understands your war (Hebrews 12:3). His grace will be given to you in your time of need (Hebrews 4:16) and it will be sufficient for you, even at the very worst times (2 Corinthians 12:9).
So, look to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), “fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:12), and finish your race (2 Timothy 4:7). When you have done the will of God, you will receive what is promised: his great and eternal reward (Hebrews 10:35–36). Measured by eternity, the hardships of this life will not be long, and “by your endurance you will gain your lives” (Luke 21:19).
Don’t give up.
Read the entire article at www.desiringgod.org/articles/dont-give-up
Bible Reading Plan - Day 5