ďThen said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God (John 6:67-69).Ē
Have you ever felt like giving up or calling it quits? If most of us are honest, we can recall at least one time while we where ďgoing throughĒ that we briefly entertained giving up on trying to do or live right. You know the thoughts, why do the folks in the world seem to prosper or always catch a break, why donít people understand me when Iím only trying to do whatís right, when is may blessing coming, Iíve been going through for so long and stuff is still the same. I may as well play the lotteryÖThe list can go on forever.
But there is something inside that for as bad as we think things are, wonít allow us to really quit. It causes us to wrestle and confront the issues with a righteous view. Yes, life hurts and there will be heart aches but even when things seem to be at their worst, there is a hope deep down in the believer that keeps us anchored in the Lord.
Right now it would seem that the saints of God are really fighting to maintain their joy and peace. There are so many of us enduring hard times and are getting weary. The enemy would have us believe that worshiping Jesus isnít worth it by throwing the lives of the unrighteous in our faces. But as the father of all lies, this too is nothing except another lie crafted to hinder, distract or hopefully derail the people of God. Whatís the difference between a good magic trick and the obstacles and trials the enemy tries to use against us; Nothing. Both are lies dressed up by a bunch a smoke, mirrors, lighting, people and noise used to ďtrickĒ folks into believing what we see is real. What we tend to think are massive elephant size problems that continue to blow loudly in our ears to the point that we cannot hear from God are usually tiny gnats with bullhorns. Nothing is too hard for God, remember? And if we see every issue this way we wonít waver, loose sleep, peace and joy. Now is the time to stop looking around at everything and everybody else so much and look up at the God who owns it all. The earth is the Lordís and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein. Focus on the Lord, seek His face and righteousness and everything else will be added.
We have been partakers of something that helps keep us in the fight. We have been given truth. The Word of God which is life. We have been given bread from heaven which is able to sustain us during the drought. We have been filled with living water so that we donít have to thirst again. Weíve been clothed in Godís imputed righteousness so we donít need to worry about raiment. We are loved with an everlasting love so we donít have to feel lonely. We dwell in the secret place and abide in the shadow of the Almighty so we have no worry of shelter.
In the excerpt from John 6, the Lord asked His disciples if they would leave them like others had. Jesus had made some awesome statements concerning Himself-all of the confirming Him as the Son of God. Those who walked away had a difficult time believing that HE is who He says He is.
The same applies. When we consider giving up because of the pressures of life do we not doubt that Jesus is who He says He is? Giving up means that for some reason the word of God isnít real to us, that we doubt His love and concern for us and that we believe we can do better alone (Mmmm).
Despite what I may go through, I must say that I agree with Peter. To whom shall I go, Lord? Today may not be my best day but itís a blessed day. Iím still here and I donít know of anyone who can keep me or care for me like Jesus. You see Iíve tasted of the goodness of the Lord, so what the world has to offer wonít satisfy me like Jesus. Iíve been the presence of the Lord, so regular old company just wonít get it. Iíll get tired of folks but I savor every moment with the Lord. Iíve talked with the Lord, in confidence, and it stayed between Him and I so Iím kind of picky about who I tell my deepest thoughts to. If it got told it was because I ran my mouth! Iíve heard His voice and empty or carnal advice tends to annoy me now. Regular old folks tend to loose my attention after so long but I anticipate every Word that comes from the Lord.
I canít go back to what I used to be because I remember being miserable and it didnít work for me. I like joy and peace and good sleep. I donít know the same old crowd of folks I used to know. Iíve lost the desire to do and go the same places I once liked. Iíve forgotten how to be good at being bad and now the conviction of the Holy Ghost keeps in on track.
But I canít stay where I am now either because I know there is more for me. Even if I tried to hang out with the in crowd, Iíd be empty because they donít get me. My conversation has changed. To a degree I am a castaway. I can buy new clothes, get a new hairdo, drive a different car and even, like Peter, change the way I talk but I canít change who I am now. Iím been made a son, a joint heir and what else can compare to that? If I walk out now I wonít see whatís on the other side of the test. I know it is tough right now but I also know the God I serve and for every trial and every mountain. For every valley and pit I endured, I came out better, wiser, stronger, and more powerful in Him. I may have lost something for a moment but what God gave me in return more than made up for the suffering.
Where will I go? Nowhere, Iím in this for the long haul.