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Not Giving Up - iBelieve Truth - January 11, 2024

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“But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.” (2 Chronicles 15:7 NLT)

I lay in bed unable to move, much less put my feet to the floor and walk. Radiation treatments zapped what little strength I had left. However, hope sparked in my spirit the day I received a phone call from a dear lady asking me to join a free exercise program for cancer patients. Since the nonprofit program was fully funded, it wouldn’t cost a thing. I looked forward to the day I could get up, get dressed, and participate in such a generous program.

The first day of workouts, the fitness instructor introduced me to an elliptical machine. It looked easy enough until I found the simple task of stepping onto the contraption to be a huge challenge. I adjusted my footing and started the uphill battle, but to my great dismay, I couldn’t even last 5 minutes.

Hopes faded and discouragement set in. To make matters worse, the 80-something-year-old cancer survivor on the elliptical to my left seemed to master the machine like a pro. This man twice my age could go a whole 45 minutes! I knew right then that if I chose to continue, I would have a long, grueling road ahead.

“But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.” (2 Chronicles 15:7 NLT)

Thinking back on that day in the fitness center, I remember how impossible the journey felt. I also wonder how many times I’ve given up on something important because I didn’t believe I could last beyond 5 minutes. Maybe you’ve questioned your own ability to face a challenge before you. Our far-reaching goals may not be related to exercise, but the feeling of imminent defeat remains the same.

“I can’t even pray for 5 minutes.”

“I can’t even read my Bible for 5 minutes.”

“I can’t even focus for 5 minutes.”

“I can’t even stop worrying for 5 minutes.”

If any of this sounds familiar, I have good news to uplift our weary hearts. When we’re tempted to quit because we can’t envision victory for ourselves, God’s word to Asa in 2 Chronicles will encourage us to not give up. 

Things were going well for Judah under the reign of King Asa. In fact, 2 Chronicles 14:2 tells us, “Asa did what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God.” He demonstrated the humble perseverance we read about in Colossians 3:23, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Still, it’s easy to grow weary when battles continue day after day resulting in baby steps of progress. Some days we don’t see any progress at all, even though we’re moving in the direction God told us to go. That’s why the prophet’s encouragement to Asa in the midst of all his hard work meant so much. 

Under Asa’s leadership, the people persevered. They “earnestly sought after God, and they found him.” (2 Chronicles 15:15) The message to be strong and courageous, spoken through Azariah, came as they were returning from battle. Upon hearing this, Asa earnestly sought the Lord and continued the work God called him to do.

My battle with the elliptical machine may not compare to what Asa faced, but life after cancer can sure feel insurmountable. We each have our mountain to face, and God does not compare our challenge with the person to our left or right. He is with us, and he offers us his strength in our weakest hour. But we must make the crucial choice to set our hope beyond the 5 minutes. Not giving up will reap big rewards when we invite God into the process.

This month marks 5 years since the last day of radiation treatments for me. Today I am seeing the blessings of not giving up when the challenge seemed impossible. And I pray you too will find encouragement in God’s precious Word to take that one small step, knowing our Father is with you for the journey. When the enemy tries to discourage your heart, hold on to the truth. “Be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.” Let’s pray together.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Lately, I’ve been tempted to give up. I’m tired of fighting battles every day. I know you are with me, but I’m growing weary and feeling discouraged. Help me, Lord. Restore my strength and courage to continue the work you called me to do. The mountain in front of me may seem insurmountable, but with Jesus all things are possible. Help me to focus on you alone as I take one small step at a time. Thank you for encouraging me through your Word and giving me what I need to persevere. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Paul Bradbury

For more spiritual growth resources, check out the 5-day email devotional, How to Be Free from Bitterness, by today’s devotion writer, Kristine Brown. Learn more about women in the Bible and find encouragement to help you “become more than yourself through God’s Word” at Kristine’s website, morethanyourself.com.

Related Resource: Spring Clean Your Life: 10 Simple Tips for a Joyful Home & Work Life

Are you a Christian mom trying to juggle work and home? You're not alone! I'm Rebekah Scott, host of The Encourager Podcast, where I share insights gained from 15+ years of balancing family and running a business. My aim is to help you find harmony inall your important roles. Join me as we explore ways to create systems for success at home and work while keeping it real!

In this episode, we're simplifying spring cleaning with two easy tips for each of our five systems: Me, Food, Family, Work and Home. Join us as we explore practical ways to bring joy and simplicity into your home and work life! And if you love what you hear, be sure to subscribe on Apple or Spotify so you never miss an episode! 

Originally published Thursday, 11 January 2024.

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