You’ve been there. I’ve been there. We’ve all hung out on that corner called ‘Just Give Up!’ The danger is deciding to live there. When you let discouragement and disappointment talk you into giving up, that’s the real fail. Whether you’re an athlete or not, there’s something so inspiring about the competitor that just keeps battling even though it looks certain they’ve already lost. That’s where the greatest turn-around stories happen.
My friend, God has a turn-around story with your name on it, but you’re going to have to settle this in your heart: you need a never-give-up attitude. One of the greatest pep talks from God’s Word is Philippians 2:5. “Let this attitude be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” I know you’re thinking, “Are you kidding me?” “Have an overcome-the-world attitude like Jesus?” Yup. Exactly!
You see Jesus came and suffered here on earth to legally give you every benefit you’d ever need, and that includes His attitude, His mind in you. He didn’t come only to forgive you and me of our sins. That would be truly amazing if that was His complete work, but it wasn’t. We also get a transfer of His righteousness, His power, authority, and yes - His courageous attitude.
One dark day I got some of the worst news I’ve ever had in my life. Someone I dearly love was broken and lost to me here on earth. A hero of mine was gone and it felt like precious rubies had slipped from my fingers into the deep of the sea. At the same time, a person whom I had helped with his career betrayed me. There were so many people needing me in small and big ways. I was a leader whom leaders depended on, and everyone wanted to unload their burden on me. No one knew the devastation I was enduring. My soul wanted to give up. My heartfelt empty and tired. Yes - I heard that voice that seemed relentless - “just give up Stephen. You’ll never make it. Just give up.”
So, what did I do? I turned to God’s source of courage - His Word. You can’t throw thoughts out with thoughts. So, I didn’t just think God’s Word, I spoke it out loud, like a prayer, a legal decree like I thought Christ would with His winning attitude. I spoke from Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I said out loud 2 Timothy 1:7 “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound, healthy, strong mind.” I reminded myself out loud about God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11 “God knows the plans He has for me; plans to prosper me, not to harm me, and give me a hope and a future.”
You might be feeling like giving up right now. Don’t. You’re too important to God to give up. It may seem very challenging right now to persevere but you’re not alone. The enemy wanted me to feel alone but I never was. God has promised to never abandon you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Praise God! Say it out loud right now, with God on my side I will never, ever give up.
God, with Your help I can do all things through Christ Jesus, so I’ve decided to never give up. You have transferred into my soul a mandate that says, “Be strong and very courageous” (Joshua 1:6). So, I receive that power from You. You brought Joseph out of the prison. You lifted Daniel out of the lion’s den. You brought Esther from obscurity to the throne. The storms of life may come, but my foundation is set on You Lord, the unmovable, unfailing Rock of my Salvation. If there seems to be no way, I’ll just say, You are the way, the way to freedom! Thank You God for my amazing, inspiring turn-around story. AMEN.
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