Father, we come before you now on bended knee, hoping to honor you with our integrity. Please make our judgement as sound as steel and be our hands upon the wheel. Give us strength and vigilance on our routes and help us to serve others, as You did, Lord, without any doubts. Remind us to be gentle, humble and kind, and help us when we stumble in body and mind. Please shelter our families whilst we are away and bring us safely back to them at the end of this day.

Don’t Give Up

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Listen to this week’s devotional on The J Bar Experience Podcast!

1 Samuel 16 –  And the Lord said unto Samuel, “How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill thine horn with oil, and go. I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided Me a king among his sons.”

Samuel loved King Saul, but because of Saul’s disobedience God rejected him from being King, and that broke Samuel’s heart. And so we find Samuel heartbroken and mourning over the circumstance he was then faced with.

He’s not the only one we find this way, for in Joshua Chapter 7, we find Joshua face down before the lord in tears, because 36 men had died as a result of a circumstance that was avoidable. 

In I Kings Chapter 19, we find Elijah who has come to the place where he is so discouraged and so depressed over someone wanting to take his life, that he is ready to give up. He’s ready to throw in the towel and he literally says to God, “It is enough now, O Lord; take away my life.” 

These men face very difficult times in their lives and ministries. They were hurt, they were confused, and they were discouraged. All of us are going to face times like this. As a matter of fact, this morning, you may be thinking “Are you reading my mail? Because I’m there right now.” 

I want to make a few observations in these men’s lives that will hopefully encourage you this morning. 

Number one, being down, discouraged, or experiencing a burden does not mean you have a lack of faith. As a minister, can I tell you how tired I get of people assuming that if someone is struggling it is because they don’t have the faith that they ought to have? Listen, just because you have struggles – and you’re going to have them – just because you get discouraged, it doesn’t mean that you are wrong with God, or that God is mad at you, or that you have some area of your faith that is lacking. Everything that comes to us is not always the result of some chastisement, but rather that God is working in our lives. 

Secondly, I want to make this observation that will hopefully help you this morning. In each of these men’s lives, who experienced the difficulty in which they found themselves; looking for answers and finding none; discouraged and depressed, God came to them in a personal way.

Now, that is encouraging to me because I am thankful that God so loved the world, but more than that I am thankful that God loves me individually, and that he cares about my personal needs. And not mine alone, but each and every person in this room. God cares about the burdens that you carry, he cares about the emotions you go through and the struggles you experience. 

And in each of these men’s lives, as they faced these very difficult times, God came to them personally, and met their needs and encouraged them; he gave them the strength to continue. And if God will do that for these men, God will certainly do that for us. 

Finally, I want to make this observation: in each of these men’s lives, though they faced a trying circumstance in which they were hurt and confused and discouraged, God still had something for them to do. 

To Joshua, as Joshua lay before the Lord in tears, he said, “Get thee up. Sanctify the people.” To Elijah as Elijah said “Lord, I’m done. It is enough. I can’t go on; I can’t handle anymore,” God said “What doest thou here, Elijah? Go, and anoint the next King of Syria and Israel, and the next Prophet. 

To Samuel, as Samuel mourned and grieved over the circumstance of one of his best friends, God said, “Fill thine horn with oil. Go and anoint the next King.”

Though we may face difficulties and trials, it doesn’t mean that God is done with us. It doesn’t mean that God can’t use us. There is still a job to do. God still has a purpose for your life. Don’t quit. Keep going.

Some of the most encouraging words I’ve ever received in one of the darkest times in my life was when a friend said to me, “We need you. Don’t quit.”

You are needed. You are wanted. Keep going. God will be there for you, he will strengthen you, and give you what you need.

Savanna Gregg
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