God will never give up on you
No matter what you’ve done: God will never give up on you
Some years ago I was in a leadership position at a community church in North Philly. I was in my mid-twenties and had just graduated from Bible school a few years earlier. At times, I would come across as a “know-it-all” and become quite bossy with my team members, and even have angry outbursts when I felt they weren’t following through.
One day, after one of my outbursts, a dear friend of mine approached me and with a firm rebuke yet gentle tone she expressed how my actions were hurting and offending other people. At first, I felt insulted. But I soon realized she was right and all at once I felt overwhelmed with guilt and shame. Then the feeling of hopelessness engulfed me and I had the sudden urge to run and hide from everyone, especially God.
Related: The God of His Word
The knowledge of my sin and how it hurt others loomed above me like a tidal wave, ready to crash down upon me leaving me broken for good. I’d crossed a line. How could I ever come back from such failure? What did I need to do to change? Could I ever really change? I wanted to hide my face forever.
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”Hebrews 13:5b NIV
The next day I left on a personal retreat for two days to spend time alone reading the Bible and in prayer. As I humbled myself before God in repentance, feeling unworthy of His forgiveness, I gradually began to sense the embrace of a loving Father. I was reminded that nothing could separate me from his love.
No matter how often you’ve failed: God will never give up on you
We often live the Christian life as if it all depends on us, don’t we? We know that salvation was free, that Jesus paid the price for our sins and took our place on the cross, and that all we had to do to receive this gift was repent and believe. We know that the biblical meaning of repentance is to turn from a life of sin and start going in a new direction. And we’ve done that.
Since believing in Christ, our perspective has changed because the Holy Spirit has given us new eyes. We begin to hate what is evil and love what is good, just like God wants us to. We live with new hope and new joy and we feel practically invincible.
Then life gets hard, temptations come seemingly out of nowhere and we make choices that lead us down familiar yet questionable paths. Over and over we find ourselves failing, trying again and constantly feeling frustrated and discouraged.
- When does victory come?
- Is God disappointed in me?
- Does it ever get easier?
I know you’ve asked yourself these questions, because I’ve asked them. Another question we ask ourselves is, “At what point will God just give up on me?”. It haunts our minds as we struggle with sin, and as we constantly strive to do better, to be better.
Paul, the Apostle, tells us in Philippians 1:6 that he is “confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”. (NIV) When he says he is “confident” he’s saying that there is no doubt; he is sure of what he believes.
The truth is that God will never give up on you! Please, let that sink in. The “work” that God started in you is the work of sanctification, which means that He is working in you every single day to make you more and more like Jesus.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV
Because of what Jesus has done: God will never give up on you
As you read the Bible and meditate on it, your mind begins to change; then your heart begins to change and eventually you’re making healthier decisions. This doesn’t happen because you’re working harder; it happens because you’re drawing closer to God.
I really appreciate what Marshall Segal says about Philippians 1:6 in his article Love That will Complete You: “God, by his unrivaled, infinite power, will one day remedy everything wrong about you. Now, you are counted perfect through faith in Jesus. Then, you will be presented perfect — no sin, no shame, no guilt, no doubt, no fear — nothing broken about you.”
Segal continues: “The promise is a safe word when Satan’s lies try to seduce or shame us. It’s a strong word in the midst of temptation. It’s a hopeful word when we’re confronted with our own sin and need. It’s an unwavering word when all around us seems shaky and unsure. It’s a comforting word in weakness or pain. It’s an inspiring word when we need motivation to press on in the faith, working out our salvation. Philippians 1:6 assures us of how it all will end for us, and that our end will be good, beautiful, and holy before our God.”
Are you as encouraged as I am after reading that?
Related: Can You Endure Until The End?
Because of his limitless love and grace: God will never give up on you
Paul shared the same truth with the believers in Corinth when he wrote these words: “He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:8 NIV)
I think we need this reminder because we are often tempted to revert to our old way of thinking that in order to stay in God’s “good graces” we need to try harder. It’s a great way for the devil to distract our gaze from God’s promises and exhaust ourselves in all the striving.
Grace is “the free and benevolent influence of a holy God operating sovereignly in the lives of undeserving sinners.”John MacArthur
The truth is, the more we strive in our own strength, the more we will fail. Our mindset will be distorted and our hearts will be discouraged. Then we begin believing the lie that God will only take so much of our failures and turn us away in frustration and disappointment.
Related: What is the Christian’s Delight?
Christian, there is no limit to God’s love and patience! He will pick you up every time you fall. He will receive you every time you come to him broken and bruised from sin. He will embrace you as a compassionate Father and remind you that He is never angry at you because his anger was turned away from you when Jesus died in your place on the cross.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy.Psalm 103:8 NASB
The 19th Century Scottish pastor, Robert Murray McCheyne, once said,
“For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ.” He meant that to find victory in life we need only to keep our focus on Christ, and not ourselves. Yes, it’s that simple.
God will forever see you as he sees his Son, Jesus: forever loved, completely accepted and eternally His.
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