“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2 Corinthians 4:15-17 NLT)
The difference between faithful people and unfaithful people is unfaithful people give up at the first sign of difficulty. Faithful people keep on keeping on. Faithful people are determined. Faithful people are diligent. Faithful people are persistent. Faithful people don’t know how to quit. You know how a little acorn becomes an oak tree? An oak tree is just an acorn that refused to give up.
I’m not that smart, but I do know one thing: It is always too soon to quit. You are never a failure until you quit, and it’s always too soon to quit. God uses tough times to test our persistence.
When we started Saddleback, I preached the first sermon to one person: my wife. She thought it was too long. Thirty-one years later, she’s still saying my sermons are too long!
I thought when we started a church we’d get a building quickly. We went 15 years without a building. In the first 13 years of this church, we used 79 different facilities. You know how many times I felt like giving up? Just every Monday morning! But I don’t know how to quit. And God said, “Rick, if I never give you a building, would you still serve me?” And I said, “Absolutely!”
Saddleback grew to more than 10,000 people before we built our first building. How would you like to set up and take down a church for 10,000 people every week? There’s not a lot of glory in that. It’s just hard work. God uses tough times to test our persistence.
If you’re going through tough times right now, then this verse is for you: “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2 Corinthians 4:15-17 NLT)
God is more interested in what you’re becoming than what’s happening to you. He often allows trials, troubles, tribulations, and problems in your life to teach you diligence, determination, and character. The problem you’re going through right now? It’s a test of your faithfulness. Will you continue to serve God even when life stinks?
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
Talk About It
- In what situation are you ready to give up?
- How can you renew your spirit so that you have the strength to persevere in this situation?
Rick Warren has helped people live with hope and on purpose for more than 40 years. He’s the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California and author of several books, including “The Purpose Driven Church” and “The Purpose Driven Life,” read by more than 100 million people in 137 languages. He created the PEACE Plan (plant churches of reconciliation, equip servant leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, educate the next generation), which is used by churches in 196 countries. His radio teaching and daily devotional, Daily Hope, is offered across America.
This devotional ©2013 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.