BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO “GIVE UP”…

MATTHEW 15:26-28: “And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.”

OBSERVATION: Is it easier to give up or to persevere? Naturally it is easier to give up. We live in a culture that encourages us to give up. If we are in a relationship and things are going bad – give up and find a new relationship. If we are working at a job and we face some difficulties – give up and find a new job. If we are attending a church and we encounter a conflict or we don’t agree with something that is being done – give up and find a new church. In reality we live in a “turnstile” culture. We are constantly giving up, starting over, giving up, starting over – and the door spins around and around and around.

What ever happened to faithfulness and the good old fashioned “stick-to-it” philosophy? We walk by a beautiful garden and want one just like it. We believe the lie that you can buy one in a box, sprinkle the seeds on the ground, and “presto-chango” – have an “instant” beautiful garden. Yet, the beautiful garden is the result of someone who stuck it out through the planting stages, the weeding stages, the fertilizing stages, the watering stages – until through their perseverance they watched the providential grace of God produce a beautiful garden. And this “stick-to-it” philosophy must be maintained or else the beautiful garden will once again become a bed of dying plants and thriving weeds.

The Canaanite woman would not give up. The disciples wanted Jesus to send her away. Jesus Himself told her that He was sent to minister only to the lost sheep of Israel. Yet she would not give up. Her daughter was dying. She knew Jesus could heal her. And so she “stuck-to-it” and continued to cry out for mercy. When Jesus told her that He could not take the “bread” that was meant for the “children” (Israel) and throw it to the “dogs” (Gentiles), she replied – “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Jesus marveled at her faith and her persistence – and Jesus answered her prayer and healed her daughter!

Years ago the Lord spoke these words to my heart – “When you are at the point of utmost despair, don’t give up, for you’re almost there!” How many times do we give up when the answer is just right around the corner. How many times do we buy into the lie – “Just give up and start over!” Before we ever give up we need to seek the Lord with all of our heart like the Canaanite woman. She was not going to let go until she turned over every stone, explored every possibility. And the Lord rewarded her as He does every one who diligently seeks Him (Hebrews 11:6)!

Lord, forgive me for the times I have thrown in the towel when You were calling me to persevere. Deliver me from the cultural “turnstile” and grant me the Grace and Faith I need to persevere (“stick-to-it”) into Your victory. Strengthen me through Your Word. Fill me anew with Your Holy Spirit! Give me strength to not grow weary in well doing – for You will bring a harvest as I persevere and do not lose heart! In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is pastor of The Fellowship at Weatherford, a Foursquare Church in Weatherford, Texas. He has developed an easy to follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information please send an email to klzehnder@aol.com
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