Published on March 13th, 2020 | by Nina Pulley0
Don’t Give Up
“… I am the one who raises the dead and gives them life again. Anyone who believes in Me, even though he dies like anyone else, shall live again. He is given eternal life for believing in Me and shall never perish.” – John 11:25-26
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” – 1 John 5:4
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4
Hey, you. Yes, you—who else? Thank you.
Okay, now that I’ve got your attention, I wanted to tell you something:
I know what you’ve been going through.
But I didn’t tell anyone…
I know you didn’t, but I know.
Oh, so you’re omniscient or something?
Maybe. Or maybe I’m you.
Okay. Not, literally, but I really do know what you’ve been going through.
I know that you doubt yourself almost all the time, that you wish you’d married that guy or girl, that you’re still a little angry at your mom for the way she talked to you all those years ago, and that you look back at your college years and wish you could’ve done something a little—well, a lot of things—differently.
Just, hold on. Maybe that’s not you exactly. But I know your struggle.
I know that sometimes you feel crazy and like you’re all alone. I know you often feel like you can’t hold on, or that you’re really just fooling yourself while everyone can see you’re falling apart. I know that you feel like you’re being held together by the seams—just barely making ends meet—and like the world is coming to an end. And it is. This world, anyway.
But that’s no reason for you to give up. In fact, that is the very reason to keep going.
But I’m so tired of pretending like everything’s okay. I’m tired of people trying to diagnose me or comfort me without even knowing who I really am or what I’m going through right now. Who are you, anyway?
Like I said, I’m you. The deepest part of you. The part that’s never left, that never will.
How do I know you’re not lying?
Well, you have to believe.
Have you found yourself in this situation before? Arguing with the honest voice in your head, bemoaning your demise, and tempted to throw your hands up like everyone else seems to have done—just give in to the tide?
Please don’t. All of your struggles and afflictions can be a source of strength for you, a source of encouragement and a wall to climb over. Once you get to the other side, how great the joy will be! We must remember to see both sides of things. Often we become so entranced, enthralled, or caught up in the throes of something that we forget that it, too, must have an end—a back page—an alternate side. The same applies in the case of your suffering.
Remember when you were at Forever 21 shopping for clothes? Everything was so cheap and on trend, and you wondered how the company was even able to stay afloat? Well, you see what happened. Remember when you wondered how that politician in your state was able to advance when they so clearly showed malice towards a particular subset of the population? Well, have they shown their true colors yet? If not, they will, with time. How about when you were in school and pulled back-to-back all-nighters for almost a week, but then you got sick and needed to stay in bed for just as long?
Everything has a flip side. Everything has to answer to something greater than itself. If you know you’re not giving everything you’ve got, confront that and be truthful about it. Face your fears and see where they’re coming from. No one knows better than you what you need to fess up to, and no one is more patient than the Lord in helping you get through it when you come to Him with honesty and humility.
Finally, my words can only do so much. All I can write has been written before, and the best I can do is point you back to the source. It says:
But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.
This was written in the fifth book of 2nd Chronicles, verse 17, as it has been numbered by man. More importantly, this was proclaimed thousands of years ago. Billions—if not trillions—of people have lived since then, and billions more are to come. Yet, this Word will never pass away. As He has said:
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away (Matthew 24:35).
I hope this has encouraged you today to keep going, to let nothing deter you from your goal of eternal Life. No matter what you are facing—no matter how dark—there is a God who listens, cares, and does things in His own, perfect time.
Below is a short playlist of songs to encourage you when you’re feeling down and out or just overall exhausted. So, listen up, don’t give up, and know that even when it seems like all bets are off, you can count on God.