Although Elijah had been one of the most victorious prophets, he came to a point in his life when he felt like he just wanted to quit (I Kings 19:4).
Have you ever been there? You might be a Sunday school teacher, a youth worker, a pastor’s wife, a Christian Counselor, or even a parent. You begin to feel like Elijah and begin to think, “What’s the use?” Satan begins to make you doubt God’s purpose for your life, and he tries to convince you to quit ministering for the Lord.
Sometimes events come into your life that make you to want to “give up spiritually”.
- You begin to sense that you have too much to do, and you do not have the ability to say “no”.
- You begin to have stresses in your personal life and stresses in your family.
- You begin to have challenges with relationships in the church.
- You begin feeling as though your gifts and abilities are not being used to their fullest.
- You begin to experience physical health problems and begin to think that you are worthless.
- You receive little support or communication from supervisors.
What should you do when you begin to feel like giving up?
- Get alone with God and pray. Many times we begin to vent to our friends before we go to the Lord with our complaints. Prayer is our personal communication with a sovereign God. He is the only one that can change circumstances and people. Isaiah 64:4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
- Focus on relationships with family and others. All relationships are part of ministering! Family relationships must be a high priority. Of course, we cannot spend so much time with our families that we lose focus on all other ministries. One important element in building relationships is to not focus too much on trying to make others “do” what we want them to do but focus on helping them to “be” what God wants them to be. This single principle will help build better relationships with family and others.
- Contemplate why are you doing what you are doing? Determine if you are doing this task for life, or is it a short assignment from the Lord? Consider the result of quitting, “If you fail to do this, will you feel dissatisfied and incomplete for the rest of your life?”
- Recognize that your gifts and abilities have limitations. Doing what God equips you to do will give you the energy you need to minister. Past training and experiences equips you to minister in ways that others may not be able to minister. When you align your strengths with ministry requirements, it gives you the strength to minister.
- Exercise your mind and body. Plan a daily time to exercise your body by walking or visiting a gym. Exercise your mind by reading Godly devotionals and biographies. Memorize portions of Scriptures and inspirational songs or poems.
- Teach others how to minister. If you are a leader in a church, plan various ministry training events through the year. Invest in resource books and materials for Children’s Ministry, leadership training, and new ministry techniques. Ask experienced people to teach and mentor others.
In the Far East, people plant a tree called the Chinese Bamboo. During the first four years of the tree’s growth, people water and fertilize it with little results. During the fifth year of the Chinese Bamboo’s growth, people again apply water and fertilizer;suddenly in five weeks the tree grows to ninety feet. Some may ask, “Did the Chinese Bamboo grow ninety feet tall in five weeks or did it grow ninety feet tall in five years?” Of course, the answer is that the tree grew ninety feet in five years. The tree would have died if the people had stopped watering and fertilizing it at anytime during that five years.
Many times when our plans do not prosper, we are tempted to quit, but we must continue to water and fertilize the plans and nurture the seeds of the vision that God places in our hearts.
This illustration was taken from the book An Enemy Called Average-John L. Mason
Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.