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When I Want to Give Up

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When I Want To Give Up

John 6:33 (NIV) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Three enemies I contend with:

1. Flesh – the battle within me

God gives me resurrection power.

2. Culture – the battle around me

God gives me his word.

3. Satan – the battle against me

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 2:1-2 (NIV) As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

Ezekiel 28:17 (NIV) “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth…”

God has limited Satan’s power and influence.

God has given me his Holy Spirit.

1 John 4:4 (NIV) You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

God has made me aware of Satan’s tactics.

1 Corinthians 2:10-12 (NIV) Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

God has secured the final victory.

How to stay in the fight:

Hebrews 11:35-12:4 (NLT) 35Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. 38They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. 39All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.

1. Remember that living by faith involves pain.

2. Understand that some of God’s promises will only be fulfilled in eternity.

Hebrews 12:1-4 (NLT) 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. 4After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.

3. Eliminate the stuff that doesn’t matter!

Matthew 6:33 (ESV) But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

4. Focus my attention on Jesus.

Philippians 2:6-7 (NLT) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing…

2 Corinthians 8:10-11 (NIV) And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.

Growing Deeper Together

Use these points throughout the week as part of your quiet time, in your small group, or over coffee with a friend to help you apply what you learned in today’s message.

Which of the three “enemies” Shane mentioned give you the most trouble? Which verse(s) from this message will you commit to memory so you can speak them to yourself in times of trouble?

What’s the area of your life where your actions say, “God, I think I know better than you do in this.”? Identify it, confess it, and surrender it to him today. If you want help with how to do that or for someone to come alongside you in prayer, head to the Prayer Lounge or patio – we’d love to pray with you!

What are some verbs that describe your present level of faith? Why these? What words would you like to be able to use to describe your faith?

How has your life changed as a result of your faith in God? What has your faith cost you? How has your faith affected others in your life (family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.)?