“If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have”—1 Corinthians 13:3-6 (MSG).
Have you ever wanted to give up? Maybe you’re tired, worn out, and frustrated. You want to walk away. I’ve been there. How about you?
I’ve been in physical therapy since late March after I had my second knee replacement. My right knee replacement, almost five years ago, was a breeze. Within a month, I was out walking in my neighborhood. While I’m blessed to have a great physical therapist, my left knee hasn’t cooperated like the right one did. But I’m getting there. However, there have been times I wanted to give up.
As I’ve pondered this trial of pain, and one step forward and two steps back, I’ve been encouraged by scripture and the fact God never gives up on us. That’s because God is love, and love, as 1 Corinthians 13 says, never gives up.
Love Never Gives Up
Love is why parents never give up on their wayward children. Just like the prodigal son in Luke 15, the father never lost hope. He never gave up, hoping and praying, for the return of his youngest son. When the prodigal did return, his father didn’t lecture him. Instead, he welcomed him home with a fatted calf and a celebration.
We celebrate when we overcome trials. When we succeed, instead of giving up, we become more aware of God’s presence, His love, His strength, helping us to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
In Philippians 4:13, Paul reminds us that we “can do all things through Him who strengthens us.” And Paul had many reasons to give up. However, He knew where his strength came from—faith in His Heavenly Father.
Our Source of Strength
We might want to give up when things are tough, but God never gives up on us. He is a God of second, third, and even 100th chances. How many times did God shake His head in frustration when the Israelites didn’t listen to Him in the desert? He provided for them every step of the way, but they still complained. He could have turned His back on them. Instead, He was their strength provider.
Before life’s trials drag you down, search for encouraging scriptures to strengthen your faith. Grab a notebook, open your Bible, and find more scriptures to bring encouragement when you want to give up. Here are a few to consider:
Isaiah 41:10—“fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (ESV).
Jeremiah 29:11—“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (ESV).
Joshua 1:9—“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (ESV).
I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts, or visit my blog for more inspiration at www.carolaround.com. If you need a speaker or workshop leader, you can contact me at the above e-mail or through my website. I’d be delighted to hear from you.
Photo credit: lcglondon.co.uk