It’s very common that once an individual reaches the second month of a new year, they tend to start showing signs of giving up. Even statistics tell us that by this time those individuals that made a new year’s resolution have either given up already or are in the stages of giving up. Why does this happen? Well one of the main factors is that we may not be seeing the results we so desire to see. You see we live in a generation or society where we are accustomed to having things done right away. An ATM machine gives you your money right away; a fast food restaurant is called fast food because you get results right away. We have become so accustomed to not having to wait. And when an individual is not seeing the results he or she desires after making a new year’s resolution, we tend to give up right away. But I want to encourage you that though we may not see those results at the present moment be assured that if we stay on the correct path we will see those results sooner or later.
This type of discouragement and wanting to give up also affects us as Christians. Many of us have had struggles and many of us have suffered tribulations. Just look back at our church history and you will see that in these past 1000 years the church has suffered great times of tribulation. These were times of tribulations for the Church, but we are still standing, still standing on the promises of God.
If you feel like giving up be encouraged that this month of February should be a month to help you move forward and propel us towards the many events that await us this year. What the devil would desire is for the Church and its members to be weighed down with the weights of tribulation, problems and discouragement. But we should have the audacity to kick that old devil out of the picture. We as the Church have a mission to accomplish and all the events that are unfolding around us today should propel us to work even harder to accomplish this goal of reaching the world with the message. There is no time for discouragement; there is no time to give up now. We as the Church may not be seeing the results we desire at the present moment, but be assured that if we stay on the right path, God will come down and rain his glory upon His bride sooner or later, all we have to do is remain faithful in every aspect of the work.
The devil desires for our focus to be placed on other things today in order to stray us away from the main target that has been given to us by Christ, to teach all nations, to preach the Gospel. Let us be watchful, for the Bible tells us to: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). One of the things the devil uses to try to stop the Church from moving forward is the use of division. Division comes about by various different factors. Some of those factors involve gossip, backbiting, rumors and not following the Bible steps in order to fix any situations. It is wonderful to note that God has created all of us in his like manner, but with different characteristics. If we were all the same in the sense that we liked the same things, for example, food, clothing and culture, then probably this world would be a boring place. Even Jeremiah described this diversity, as a great speckled bird. Different nations, races and cultures, but all in one body, the Body of Christ, the Church of God.
But what Satan desires is for us to forget these things and grab a hold of those things which halt the church from moving forward towards perfection and victory. One thing we must remember is that gossip is a spirit, and not a good one at that. Sometimes what may seem as good intentions could cause more harm than good. I must confess as a leader operating in transparency that a few years ago I was falling into this hole. What may have seemed as good intentions to me, in reality not only was it affecting me but others. I desired to help others, but in this desire I also desired to know more than what I needed to know. And many times this involved things that did not pertain to my local church. Though my intentions and desires may have been to inflict good advice and counsel, it was thus turning into gossip. I was taken to a scripture in the Bible were Paul addressed this issue: “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
After that time period I realized that it is better to know nothing and have the assurance that God is in control. So many people get discouraged many times because they do not see the results we desire, that we begin to operate outside of the will of God in order to accomplish those desires. Let’s be very careful! Remember Satan desires all this, and by bringing this about he brings discouragement to many members in the Body of Christ.
But this is not the time to give up! We need to move forward. I am reminded of a Bible story of the widow and the judge. The Bible tells us: “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him…” (Luke 18:1-7).
Jesus shows us here an example of two types of people. One that feared God (widow) and one that did not fear God (the judge). One thing that we note in this story is the fact that the widow came various times to the judge asking for a petition to “avenge her from her adversary.” But time after time the judge did not listen to her. But there came a time period in which he declared “Yet because this widow troubleth me” in other words, this widow continues to bother me over and over. We do not really know exactly how many times the widow was in front of the judge asking her petition, but I imagine it came to the point where this poor judge probably even heard the widow’s voice in his dreams.
One thing is for certain, the widow was persistent, and she did not give up. Could you just imagine if all the membership of the Church in the present hour had this same spirit? Persistent and not giving up. Imagine if we all operated in this fashion, in our prayers, fasting, reading the Bible, paying tithes, being our brother’s keeper! What glories may we see in operation in the Church today! Many, many I tell you, we would see the glory of God like never before. Is this at our reach? Of course! Can we do it? Of course I say again! God is calling us to move forward in 2015 and not give up. There is no time to give up; we have come a long way in order to let old Satan drag us behind. The widow was persistent, until the judge answered her.
Jesus continues to say: “…shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him…” How many of us have shed tears since the beginning of 2015? Many I suppose, but this should not be a factor in order to give up. Be reminded that every tear has been wiped away by the mercies of God. Church be encouraged, whatever your situation, don’t give up. The devil desires to have a discouraged and divided people. But be encouraged, that our REDEEMER LIVES!
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