I have been struggling a lot lately with "why". Why is there so much evil in this world? Why does it seem like everywhere I turn there is pain and suffering? Why should I bother trying to do good when I know that something bad is just around the corner waiting to remind me that I can't win? I have had a lot of conversations with God about this. Well, one-sided conversations at least.
Last night after exhausting myself with all the "why" questions I was finally quiet for a minute. It was then that I heard "never give up on doing what is right". Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
As I was searching for verses about not giving up I found some that really hit home . . . here are a few of them (taken from The Message's translation of 1 Timothy 4:1-16)
The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars. These liars have lied so well and for so long that they've lost their capacity for truth.
You've been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching. Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.
Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don't be diverted. Just keep at it.
I have never given up on my faith in God - that He is real, that He loves me, that He is in control. I was giving up on something though. Maybe I figured the final battle has already been won so why bother with the wars along the way? I was listening to the lies that were going through my head like "don't bother - you can help one person but you can't help them all - you won't even make a difference" and "just stay down - it won't hurt as much next time you fall because you're already halfway there".
There is some truth inside those lies though. It's true that I can't help everyone . . . . but I can make a difference. It is also true that it won't hurt as much to fall back into the pit if I just stay there but if I am being honest - most of God's teaching moments happen while I am falling.
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:1-3