February 4, 2023
Refuse To Quit
Nehemiah - “When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall…We worked early and late, from sunrise to sunset. And half the men were always on guard.” (Nehemiah 4:15, 21)
We know that whenever we try to do something of substance, we are always going to face opposition. There will always be critics out there ridiculing us and spreading rumors about us. But we shouldn’t let that consume us. No matter what, we should plan to keep on keeping on. We should refuse to be distracted. This is what happened with Nehemiah and those working with him. The opposition came up against them to stir up trouble and put an end to their work. They refused to be distracted. When opposition came, they returned to the wall and kept working.
When an opponent’s goal is to get us to quit, what should we do? We should keep on working and refuse to quit. We should keep on working no matter what! President Calvin Coolidge once said, “Press on. Nothing can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are the overwhelming power.”
On what has the devil been tempting you to give up? - Reading through the Bible this year? A new career? A dream that you can’t shake? Your marriage? An outstanding idea? A new ministry at church? Your small group? If you know that he is trying to get you to give it up, what should you do? You should move forward!
There is an old legend that one day Satan had a garage sale. He was selling all of his tools that he had used over the centuries: lying, hatred, malice, lust, greed, envy, jealousy, and pride. However, in the corner was one tool that was priced more than all the other tools put together. The price was so high that nobody bought it. Why? Because that tool was "Discouragement" That is his most important tool. When Satan can’t get you to commit an immoral sin, he can always get you discouraged! A discouraged Christian is an ineffective Christian. When we’re discouraged, it means that we've taken our eyes off the Lord and put them on the circumstance. Since Satan never sold it, he's still using discouragement today. Whenever we give up, the devil wins.
One of the fundamental principles of the Christian life is Don't give up! After World War II, Winston Churchill was invited to speak at Harrow, the boarding school he attended as a boy. He gave one of the shortest speeches in recorded history. He said, “Young men, never give in, never give in; never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” The secret of success is to simply outlast your critics. Someone once said, “An oak tree is just a little nut who refused to give his ground. So never give up. Refuse to quit.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
Make a list of three things you know God wants you to do. Beneath your list, write out a prayer to the Lord asking Him to help you persevere in the things that really matter in life. If you’re leading your family through this devotion, guide them to complete the same exercise.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, when Satan tries to discourage me, help me to stand my ground and to never give up. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.