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Saturday, July 28, 2018

WANT TO GIVE UP? An Exhortation from pastor Josh Boubion

~ By Josh Boubion

WANT TO GIVE UP?

There has been a long line of people who have rejected the Lord in their lives from Adam and Eve to your 'uncle Steve'. 

I understand that life can get real tough and it seems like leaving is the best option. Many marriages have communication complications that turn into arguments, and all too often leads to wanting to give up. At the heart of it all most of the time we are people-pleasers; we don’t want to see others upset with us or disappointed in us. So our first thought in times of an argument or when the pressure is coming on at work, we want to just run away and not deal with the matter at hand.


However facing the challenges ahead of us is very important; that is, if you want to keep your relationships with God and people (which by the way are the only two life investments that will go into eternity: your relationship with the Lord and with others). There is destructive impact that happens when you run from situations. For example, that is why divorce is so high, because spouses give up and aren't willing to face these challenges together. Parents regret broken relationships with children, who are torn from a future with a family that stays together: because one person didn't stop and face their challenge at restoring another in the Lord. They experience regret and loss because they didn't finish schooling or left a certain job that proved too difficult, etc. - they quit and gave up hope. 

In the end, an event will happen where all things will be made new, God will wipe away the tears of the saints, there will be no more death, sorrow, or crying.
REVELATION 21:6-7
“And He said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts'. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” 

There is something rewarding about "finishing to the end" in all things in life, but most importantly your relationship with the Lord. And what a reward that will be. Those who are overcomers on that day are those who according to the apostle John are:

1 JOHN 5:5
“Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”


They are those who rely on the blood of Christ on the cross for their sins, and know there is nothing they can bring to the table that their flesh can generate. Since there is nothing good in us.

ROMANS 7:18
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.”


So if no good thing can come from within me then I need help! I understand that it is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (COL 1:27). So in the end, it’s His work in us from start to finish.

PHILIPPIANS 1:6
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”


Also MATTHEW 24:13 
“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”

So it’s not like God will come in and control everything in you with out your permission. It’s a joint mission, where both of you walk together on every decision in life.

JOHN 15:4
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”


Now with those things said, let’s look at your life practically: 
It gets hard at times in this life and we need the Lord to help us to keep breathing. We want to run, but when you cry out to the Lord to change your heart from being fearful, timid, and cowardly (since we know these types of people will not inherit the Kingdom of God, REVELATION 21:8) He will change your heart and grant you faith to stand firm and not run, as well as strength, courage, and even boldness (ISAIAH 40:30-31; 1 COR 12:9; EPH 6:10; JOSH 1:6; PROV 28:1).
If I were to interview Adam, he would say, God created the universe and all there is. If I interviewed Joshua, he would say, God stopped the sun from setting through the night. Moses would tell you, God separated the waters in the Red Sea. Lazarus would tell you, God brought him from death.


Then know that the Lord can change your life in the direction you are headed, don’t let fear, or even your feelings lead you astray. But allow the Word of God to be your light that gives you direction on where to go (PSALM 27:1). He will let you know Who He is, and what He requires of you in this life.
And when those moments hit us in life when we want to give up, The Lord will sustain you and keep you to the end, since you are His child (ISAIAH 41:10). Keep fighting the good fight and know that there is reason enough for you to face the hard times in your life. It’s good that we have hard times in life, that we might mature in our walks with the Lord (EPH 4:13JAMES 1:2-5; 1 PET 1:3-7).

So next time you are going through a dispute or feel like you can’t breathe because the pressures of this life have your head down, don’t surrender to your surroundings but look up and allow the Lord to restore what the locust have eaten up. Learn from the Church of Ephesus who walked away from their first love, but are told to:

REVELATION 2:5
“Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place–unless you repent.” 

Turn back to those long walks with the Lord, those times of worship music in your ears as you delighted your heart in the Lord, those times of Bible study with those believers, those times on your knees surrendering your heart, crying out loud in brokenness, that sweet fellowship with believers, that devotional time in the morning with your coffee and reading verse by verse speaking to the Lord alone. 

One thing that keeps me going personally in the Lord, to continue to press on and look forward, instead of dwelling on the past, is my expectation of His soon return for His Bride.

2 PETER 3:12-14
“Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”

But before Peter encouraged the Church in v.12 about looking to the Lord he said in v.11:

2 PETER 3:11
“Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,”


Peter says there are two things we should do here on earth in the meantime: that is, our attitude toward God and man should be holy and godly. Now please understand, we can’t be both of these on our own, since nothing good in us dwells except the Lord in us, who is good. So if nothing in us is good, then nothing good can come out of us; but since the Lord dwells in us, the only goodness out of us comes from Him.

God requires us to be holy and perfect, this is His standard for us. (LEV 11:44, MATT 5:48) So the only way we can do this is by abiding in Him (JOHN 15:4-5), relying on His divine power in us:

2 PETER 1:3
“as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,”


EPHESIANS 1:3
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,”


You and I have it all, and lack nothing for holiness and godliness!

PHIL 4:19
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”


In conclusion be steadfast by looking to the Lord, being diligent in doing your part in making peace with everyone. Consider what the Lord endured, and follow Him by growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. In losing your life now you will find that you have won it all in the end, if you endure till the end.

2 PETER 3:14-18
“Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation–as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”


For more on this subject of discouragement and finding endurance to carry on in this spiritual battle of life, and in the ministry see the following:

ARE YOU FEELING BATTLE WEARY?

WE COUNT THEM HAPPY WHICH ENDURE

ABLE MINISTERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

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