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Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately?

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Is it possible for righteous, godly, Spirit-filled Christians to become so low and downcast, they feel they can't go on -- and they come to the brink of giving up?

Think about it for a moment. I'm talking now about believers who are close to Jesus -- who know His heart and mind, have done battle in prayer, have experienced His miracles, have seen victory after victory in their lives. Such people are dedicated to the Lord's work. They present themselves daily as living sacrifices.

So, tell me: Is it possible for such Christians to be so pressed down and troubled, to be in such despair and despondency, they become convinced they're not going to make it? Absolutely -- yes!




I have counseled many Christians -- ministers, evangelists, soul-winners who have been mightily used of God -- who experienced such a pit of despondency. These people were once powerful in ministry, preaching glorious revelations of God. But suddenly they grew weary. Troubles piled upon them. They were slandered and rejected. And they ended up feeling they'd spent their whole lives in vain. They told me, "There's no use going on. I don't feel I've done anything for the Lord. I'm a failure!"

I was appalled that any Christian could be so defeatist. I answered them almost indignantly: "Snap out of it! Have you forgotten all the miracles God has done for you? He hasn't forsaken you. Count your blessings!"

Theogically, I may have been correct. But often that theology simply doesn't work. It certainly didn't work for Elijah. That holy man ended up hiding in a cave -- making his home in an utterly dark place of despair!

Have you ever dropped out for a while, as Elijah did? Have you ever gone into hiding -- so hurt, so down, you didn't want to see or talk to anyone? Yours may be a cave of silence -- a withdrawal from people and responsibilities. Or, maybe at this point you're still not convinced a Christian can experience such despair. You may say, "All these examples are from the Old Testament. But we live in a day of grace. Surely no Spirit-filled believer should live in fear. There shouldn't be any depression in God's house!"



I ask you: Can New Testament saints who are full of God's Spirit go through times of deep despair -- people who spend time on their knees, who give their lives in service to the Lord, who don't walk in sin but are wholly dedicated to Jesus?

Paul, the apostle, is quick to answer this. He surely was a New Testament saint -- a godly, precious man -- who had given up the whole world that he might win Christ. He spent every breath in the cause of the Master.

This man had a revelation of Christ as did no other person on earth. Jesus had revealed Himself not just to Paul, but in him. And the Spirit took Paul into heaven and showed him unspeakable glories. Indeed, Paul was given the very mystery of the gospel. His epistles have instructed God's people throughout the centuries.

But the Bible says when Paul went to Asia to preach the gospel, he received only trouble:

"For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia..." (2 Corinthians 1:8).

God had been using Paul mightily throughout Asia, and especially in Ephesus. A great revival had fallen on the city and lasted for two years:

"So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed" (Acts 19:20).

During that time the Lord had worked great miracles: Demons were cast out. The lame and the sick were healed. And Paul was at the center of it all! He anointed handkerchiefs and aprons, which, when laid upon people, brought immediate healing and deliverance:

"And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them" (verses 11-12).

The miracles were so great and the conviction so strong, the Ephesian converts gathered up all their occult books and curious arts -- 50,000 pieces of silver's worth -- and held a massive bonfire in the city square. Yet, this only enraged the satanic forces in Ephesus!

You see, the goddess Diana was worshiped in that city. Yet now the citizens were no longer buying idols of Diana for worship. This stirred up a group of silversmiths, who made their living by selling the statues they shaped. The men rose up against Paul -- riling up the crowds against him!

Suddenly, in the midst of this great revival, a massive riot broke out. The people dragged Paul into a theater, and the apostle had to defend himself before a raging mob. Eventually, he left Ephesus hearing the taunts and mockeries of the wicked.

Do you get the picture? Paul had given two years of his life to this revival. He had seen a mighty move of God. But then turmoil came into his life so heavily, he said:

"...we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life" (2 Corinthians 1:8).

In other words: "I thought, 'It's all over -- I'm not going to make it. I won't come out of this alive. The sentence of death is on me!'"

We don't know exactly what Paul spoke of when he said,

"...our trouble which came to us in Asia..." (same verse).

Some scholars believe he was going through a great physical battle -- that he was so sick he was near death. Yet I don't believe Paul's troubles were physical. I don't think he was talking about shipwrecks, stonings or beatings. Rather, I believe Paul was speaking of mental anguish -- a deep, spiritual warfare that had left him wiped out!

You may ask, "How could this be? No godly, overcoming believer should ever be fearful or embattled by the flesh." Yet I, for one, am glad Paul spoke so truthfully about his feelings! Otherwise, I might think my own experiences with despair are strange, unique -- not shared by other lovers of Jesus.

The fact is, many godly men and women throughout history have testified that Satan has attacked them in this way. He comes bringing lies, discouragement, hopelessness. One day a person can be rejoicing, secure in his salvation. But the next, an unexplainable feeling of worthlessness comes over him. Suddenly, for no reason, his peace is gone. He is plagued by restlessness. Despondency sets in. He feels undeserving, unholy, unacceptable to God.

This isn't just a physical sickness or a sense of rejection. Rather, it is an unexplainable mental anguish -- something that can come upon you at any time. I don't know what to call it exactly. But women, especially, are plagued with it -- and "experts" have tagged it with all kinds of names. One day, things just begin to pile up in your mind. You can't explain it. And nobody can reach you. Suddenly, you don't want to talk to anyone. All you want to do is hide.

Whatever happened to Paul in Asia, it overwhelmed him completely. He was brought so low, all his strength was gone. He wrote,

"...we had the sentence of death in ourselves..." (verse 9).

In other words: "I couldn't see any way out. It wasn't humanly possible for me to make it through!"

You may wonder, "How could things get that bad for this great man of God? Did Paul really want his life to end?"

The fact is, Paul had taken upon himself the care of overseeing all the churches he had pionereed. He loved those new believers with all his heart. He grieved over their sins and compromises. And he corrected them with great anguish.

This in itself was a tremendous burden for any man or woman of God to bear. Indeed, Paul writes:

"For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you" (2:4).

Paul's anguish at constantly having to correct and direct his flock afflicted him and made him weak. It was like giving birth to a child: It took a great toll on his physical body!

Paul then writes:

"For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears" (7:5).

You may be saying, "Do you mean, Paul, the great apostle, had fear? Isn't this the same man who spoke so much about having victory over fear? Can this really be Paul talking?"

Yes -- absolutely! You see, that is Satan's design -- to plant fears in us. He wants us to lose our confidence that God answers prayer -- to think that all of our interceding, fasting and seeking Him have been in vain!

Notice what Paul adds to the verse he wrote about feeling

"the sentence of death": "...that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead" (1:9).

It was all about faith!

I strongly believe that God allows His people -- and especially ministers of the gospel -- to go through many difficult things so that their faith may be built from it. Then, when they share or preach, they no longer speak from theology -- but from personal experience of God's delivering power. That is why Paul could say, "I don't want you to be ignorant of how the devil tried to overwhelm me in Asia. I want to share with you how God brought me out of it -- so that you, too, can be healed and delivered!" In recent years, Satan has tried to play the same "phony" trick on me -- but he cannot succeed! Each time I have rebuked him, saying, "You broke the record last time, devil. I'll never play that one again. And you'll never convince me I'm a phony!"



Perhaps like Paul, you are being pressed beyond measure -- tested beyond your endurance. Your strength is nearly gone, and you are on the brink of giving up. You see no way out. You want to run, but there is no place to go. Now you say with Paul, "This is above my strength!"

So -- how do you get out of it? What is the way to victory? All I can tell you is how God continues to bring me out. Here are four important truths He has given me:

1. Don't think you are experiencing some strange, unique battle. On the contrary -- you are in good company! Recall Job, Jeremiah, Elijah, David, Paul -- even me. What you are going through is common to believers throughout the centuries.

"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy" (1 Peter 4:12-13).

2. When you think you can't go on another hour -- when everything looks absolutely hopeless -- cry out to God with all that is in you, "Lord, help!" Consider the counsel of the psalmist:
  • "As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me" (Psalm 55:16-18).
  • "I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears" (18:1-6).
  • "O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit" (30:2- 3).
Here is a key verse:

"For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper" (72:12).

Jesus has sent the Holy Ghost to be your helper. And He will not turn a deaf ear to your cry for help!

3. Dive into God's Word, lay hold of your special promise, take it into the secret prayer closet and hold God to it. Here are three of my favorite promises from the Bible. I hold these up to God whenever I cry out to Him:
  • "Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (Matthew 7:9-11).

    Ask the Lord for good things. He is waiting to give them to you! Ask Him to set you free, to take away all your shame, to remove all the stain of sin. He longs to do it for you!
  • "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20).
Take this promise to God every day, saying, "Father, You said You'd do well above everything I ask. Today I'm asking You to overanswer my prayer." God is pleased by such faith!

4. Trust the Holy Ghost, who abides in you. The Father has sent His Spirit to reside in your heart. But you have to acknowledge the Holy Spirit within you! You've got to believe that when you cry out, the Holy Ghost abiding in you will answer. God doesn't have to send an angel to speak to you; He has already put His resources within you -- the Holy Ghost Himself!

That is the secret, plain and simple: As you face your present hour of sufferings and confusion, turn everything over to the Holy Ghost. Say to Him, "Holy Spirit, You know the way out of this mess. I don't. It's completely beyond me. So, I'm resigning, right now. And I give up direction of my life to You.

"I know that what I'm going through is not uncommon to believers. And I'm going to call upon the Lord for help. I'll hold Him to His great and precious promises. And I will trust You to do the rest. You know the very mind of God!"

Dear saint, if you make this simple confession, you will know times of refreshing from the Lord. Even when you are ready to give up, He remains faithful to deliver you. Hallelujah!

By David Wilkerson
 
Member
Great post



I have felt depression and it builds up from constant rejection of the Word of God. What makes it even worse is you love the person who has rejected the message. Whenever you really get into a dialogue with someone a relationship forms you share their hurt and want them to know the peace of Jesus. But for whatever reason they walk away. And for me it is as if someone i love has died. Actually it is even worse than that. I have been down a few times, But i know there is no point giving up. I would not feel peace in any other Way then the narrow way.

All Praise The Ancient of Days
 
Member
Dear Coconut,

Thank you! I enjoyed the read! In my studies have learned that many leaders and disciples reach God's direction in their ministries and then hit "free fall" and crumble, hard!

Billy Graham saw this with many evangelists in his young ministry and would call a meeting with his staff and ask them to think for one hour about the stumbling blocks that hindered their ministry and they would pray asking for God's spiritual check, prepare them for what they may not know will happen, and trust God's protection.

God knows and understands us better than we know and understand ourselves. He sees when we feel like giving up yesterday and lately. This is why commune with God is taking God serious. And He is there waiting for us to call Him every moment. Being prepared to stay on the right road until Jesus Christ returns.

Billy Graham's willingness to understand this and his weaknesses by continually seeking God is an excellent example of overcoming Satan's design for failure.

Please read and meditate on 1 Corinthians 15:55-58, "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

When Satan attacks, Prayer is warfare, Jesus wins!

Your servant in Christ Jesus.
 
Member
Amen! I want to add a few quick thoughts here and hope they make sense, per my lack of java lol.
I fully agree with the author when he says "Christians are allowed trials, that when they share or preach, they are speaking from personal experience of God's delivering power."
However I was reading a portion of scripture this morning and it occured to me that much of what brings us down has to do with the past, it`s mistakes, and failures, and things that have happened to us. But we read in 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! When we accepted Christ into our hearts we became a new creation, the old passed away and all became new. I think this tells us the importance of letting go of the past. How can we truly be happy and live as overcomers, if all we do is wallow in all those things that bring us down, wether it be dwelling on things of years past, or yesterday?
It is the world`s way to to "take us back" or help us "remember" as therapy for our souls, but God says let it go, you are a new man, the old is gone! That`s not a one time thing, then our new history creates more muck and mire to bog us down. Christ offers a newness of life every single day! Did we stumble yesterday, did we fall? We must get on our knees and and talk to God, giving our yesterdays to Him. Put the past behind us and look forward. Find out what God wants for today!

I also know many new Christians think that 'I am a Christian now, so that means all my troubles are over right?' And because they do not expect to have trouble, they get crushed under the weight of disillusionment, and questions like 'why would God allow this to happen to me?' The church has not helped dispel this myth with songs like "My Burdens Rolled Away!" Thank God He takes away the burden of sin we have carried, but Jesus said to his disciples in Matthew 16:24 "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." The cross indicates this walk with God will not be easy tho His Word is full of promises to renew our strength, and to be with us thru every trial. Does "deny" mean we have to deny we have emotions and feelings, no, that would be impossible. I think in part it does mean to deny ourselves the wallowing in our troubles, to refuse to become bogged down under the weight of them, and choose Christ`s way. This is His cross, as found in Matthew 5, and the way to be "complete in righteousness"

Isaiah 40: Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Heb 12: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
 
Member
Dear Coconut,

Amen and amen, sister! Your ministering is real meat here, exalting God for His leading! And may I add that this topic is not a "downer" but very refreshing to my soul.

Yes, from your quote, "I also know many new Christians think that 'I am a Christian now, so that means all my troubles are over right?' And because they do not expect to have trouble, they get crushed under the weight of disillusionment, and questions like 'why would God allow this to happen to me?"

The disillusionment is from who else? Satan is such a punk! A new Christian needs to be schooled from the start, Coconut, from their pastor, bible and Sunday school teachers, from fellowship in church, that its going to be the beginning of battle with the evil one because he is threatened and knows he is defeated!

Alot of my battles as a new believer was and still is within myself. Getting back to your original thread ref David Wilkerson is an eye opener for me. I want to plant your contribution in my heart when I am in constant prayer to our Father.

We all have our Walk cut out for us. I believe with all my heart that Jesus Christ is coming and pray for all of us to be prepared and continue to press on.

Thank you for your ministry.

Your servant in Christ Jesus.
 
Member
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

1 Samuel 30:6
 
Member
Amen!

Phi 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
Member
Everyone, no matter what, will have those feelings. The importance is that, you pick yourself up from where you fell and you move on.

We will always find hardship and struggles everywhere...but what's important is endurance. How? By praying and seeking him first. No matter what kind of a mess you're in or what kind of stress you're under, Jesus is the solution to your problems.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9
 
Registered Member
Jesus is Lord!

Coconut:

Thank you for writing this article. It blessed me.

I trust the Lord is blessing you for your faithfulness in serving Him.
 
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Member
Right on time

As always this came when I needed to hear it.

I thank God quite frequently that I have you to write to me when I don't have the strength to read for myself.
 
Member
hehehehe!!! God really do loves us no matter what !!!he helps us to arise!!! there are times that i want to give up!!!but i realized that life is'nt easy every life has its own struggle!
and i understand his plans for me and now im lifted up!!!! yay!!! praise him he saves me!!!

Bless us all everyone!!!!

:smile:
 
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