So you started the year with great plans. You had them carefully written down with the action plans required to fulfill those plans. You committed those plans into God’s hands, believing in His word clearly stated; “Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37:5)
On paper, everything looked good, what in the world could possibly go wrong?
Fast-forward a couple of weeks into the New Year; you have missed some deadlines you set for yourself. You planned to read at least one chapter of a book everyday but in the last couple of days, you haven’t even read a line, talk less of a chapter. Some planned to visit the gym at least 3 times a week but so far, they have not been able to meet that target.
Whatever the target you set for yourself, it is possible that at this time, you are already feeling like a failure and at the brink of giving up. Before you do, I have something to say to you, ‘Don’t you dare give up!’
In my life’s journey, I have made a lot of plans. I wish I could tell you that I succeeded in all. One thing I have learnt however is that God’s will and His purposes never fail.
What we sometimes see as a failure on our part is sometimes a stepping-stone to where God wants to take us. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes our plans fail due to indiscipline, the lack of will to act or external factors such as unforeseen circumstances. Ultimately, if we refuse to give up, God often gives us not just a second chance but also many opportunities to get back on track.
Take the case of Samson. God had a purpose for His life and in the beginning, He was living that purpose as a thorn in the side of the enemies of Israel. Eventually his lack of discipline caught up with him. Did Samson give up? No! He didn’t. He acknowledged his failure and waited patiently for his hair, his source of strength to grow back and then he pulled off a great victory. On that day and with that single action, he killed more mean in death that while he was alive.
What about Peter? I believe He was completely devoted to the Lord Jesus. In spite of all that Jesus had been telling him and the others, I think Peter, having witnessed all the miracles that Jesus did, could not reconcile himself to the fact that Jesus would willingly give himself up to be killed. Even when Jesus told the disciples, “All of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ “ (Mark 14:27) Peter responded, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will”.
I believe Peter was not just being flippant, he meant what he said. He was willing to go down fighting of need be. What He was not prepared for was standing by and witnessing the horror of Jesus’ suffering. In the end, he did the very thing he vowed he would not do; he betrayed Jesus and he was gutted at the thought of what he did. Was that the end for Peter? Definitely not! He went on to fulfill the ministry to which he was called and succeeded in it.
“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! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18”
The scripture above starts with the phrase, “That is why we never give up”. We don’t give up! It is not in our DNA as Christians to give up.
So we are falling behind in our plans, so what? A new day gives us the opportunity to re-assess those plans and move on.
Don’t get stuck in the rut! Keep moving; keep pressing! God’s got your back and as long as you don’t give up, He will help you and give you the strength you need to succeed!