Have you ever wondered what Jesus thought when things got difficult? What about when the critics came at him from everywhere? What about when his own disciples complained and argued? What about when His disciples were filled more with fear and doubt, than they were with faith?
What about when people were crying out for his own death, when he had done nothing but good for people?
Well I guess I could go on, but I think the point is made. Obviously, Jesus was not a quitter. He was quite the opposite, he persisted to the completion of his mission, no matter what. Sometimes he had to be blunt with people, (“…get behind me satan…” he said to Peter).
Jesus had to have a special focus about him to deal with everything he had to deal with. He invested time with his disciples, teaching them, correcting them, but never quitting on them. Why? obviously he loved them “to the end”. His eternal mission depended on them as much as it depended on himself. Without his disciples, what would happen to the church after he ascended to be with his Father?
His disciples likewise, had to learn to, ‘not quit’, even to the point of giving their lives for their Master. They had to grow, and mature. They needed some things… let’s take a look at some of these things briefly…
Why do people quit? Various and sundry things happen I suppose. One thing seems to stand out. Loosing perspective.
We surely get discouraged now, just as the disciples did then. Life is hard for sure. Quitting becomes easier when one gets tired, discouraged, upset.
When you consider marriage, it is much the same. Divorce (quitting) seems to come to people’s minds too quickly nowadays because people lose perspective. Little things become ‘big’ and big things become little without perspective.
How can we gain perspective? Well, life has taught (continues to teach) me, that some (perhaps many) things are NO BIG DEAL (NBD). The key is figuring which is a BIG DEAL and which is a BIG DEAL, and worthy of stopping everything, and dealing with it (ie confrontation). How do Christians gain perspective, and the discernment needed to see what is a BIG DEAL? I think, if we will learn to see things from the cross it will really help.
What happened on the cross? Well, Jesus, having been nailed to it, was then raised up, and the cross went into a hole with a sickening thud! Already he was beaten half to death, and mocked, and spit on, and slapped, and was so weak that he could not carry his own cross piece. Now he hangs there. Dying. In deep pain, exposed to the elements, thirsty, and every thing in his body writhing in anguish. Picture this and see him looking at you. Going through this just for you. Through his suffering and stripes, ‘you are healed’. Blood is flowing. He is getting weaker and weaker. All for you and I.
Having this picture in your mind… lay your issue at the foot of the cross. Now, what would he say to you? Answer that, and you are gaining perspective.
Somehow, our problem doesn’t seem so big a deal anymore. Maybe we even feel ashamed for getting so upset, or discouraged over it.
My encouragement is, before saying, “I quit”, think of Jesus on the cross, just you and the Master. Leave the scene with a renewed determination that you will not quit. Determine that foolish pride, petty disagreements, will not ever drive you away from Jesus or His people. Surely, this is part of growing in Jesus. Quitting and divorce should be forever put out of our minds, and has to be in order that we can grow.