After months of house hunting, I finally closed on a condo a week ago. It was a very stressful time, but God was on my side, and even though many times I felt like giving up, I finally succeeded. If nothing else, this experience taught me two things:
1. Never give up.
Have you ever felt so discouraged, so overwhelmed that you wanted to give up? Does your illness seem unconquerable, your bills uncontrollable, your burdens unbearable? You feel like you cannot make it through another day, another sleepless night. David must have felt that way when he penned this Psalm. "Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off ? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy ? (Psalm 43: 1 - 3)
Those words resonate with despair. The psalmist sounds like he 's ready to give up. But in the next verses, David cries out to the Lord: "O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. Why art thou cast down , O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God" (v 4 - 5).
Elijah, miracle worker and mighty prophet of God, found himself in a similar position of depression. The amazing thing is that this took place right after a time of exhilarating success. Elijah had just prayed to God, who sent down fire from heaven and burnt up the water-soaked sacrifice, then he had slain four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal. But when Jezebel threatened to kill him for slaying the prophets, Elijah panicked and ran.
But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die ; and said , It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers (1 Kings 19 : 4)
2. God never fails
If these two icons of the Old Testament could reach that level, what about you and me? But our God never fails. As He was with David and Elijah in their troubles, He was with me in my time of trial and He will be with you too. He gave us His word and His promises to stand on. "For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen ..." (2 Corinthians 1 : 20).
Be strong and of a good courage , fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Deuteronomy 31 : 6.
When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up . Psalm 27 : 10
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer ; I have overcome the world. John 16 : 33.
These and many other verses of encouragement you can read and memorize, so that when the storms of life threaten to overtake you, you can cling to them and find the strength and courage to go on. God knew that His children would face many problems in this world, that is why He gave us His word to be a "lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path" (Psalm 119 : 105).
Believers are not exempt from feeling depressed, or wanting to give up, but know that God is on your side. Your path may appear dark. You may not know where to turn, or what decision to make, but God's word can light your path and give you the clarity and direction you need. So don't give up and don't give in. If you put your trust in God, He will carry you, even to the end.