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Seeds of the Kingdom

Giving Up

by Grace Bull

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13, NIV

Some years ago I picked up a ‘read through the Bible in 2 years’ plan and decided to give it a try. I don’t know if you would count this as a success, but after six years I finished it! To me it was a great success – I had read the whole Bible, which gave me a wonderful overview of the whole picture. So much of the Bible makes more sense and falls into perspective when you see the big picture.

Does it matter that it took six years, rather than two? Or is it more important that I achieved my goal of reading through the Bible? I had the definite feeling that God was happy. He looks at our hearts and I think He was happy that I wanted to get to know Him. I don’t think He was so concerned about exactly how long it took.

The second time I did the same plan, it took only three years. Still longer than it ‘should’ have been, but half the time that it took before. And more importantly, I got loads more from it the second time, compared to the first time.

The third time it took me two and a half years and it boosted my Christian life so much that I would recommend the plan to anyone! What a shame it would have been if I had given up just because I got so far behind the first time!

Do you sometimes look at your life and see failure, where God sees success? We may fail to meet our own standards, and yes, we may be right. But God says to you, “well done for trying! I will pick you up. I am a God of restoration, forgiveness and support. Let’s try again and you will find it gets easier as you keep going.”

If you are tempted to give up today, or if you compare yourself to others and only see the problems, why not let the Lord speak words of encouragement to your heart? “I love you. You are precious to me. You don’t have to be like everyone else. I will help you and carry you over the obstacles that you see. I will be your strength today.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, it’s true that sometimes I look at my life and see failure. Thank You that You see success – You see a precious child who loves You and wants to know You better, in a world that opposes You and everything You stand for. Thank You that You are on my side, encouraging me today. Help me not to measure myself by the world’s standards. I look to You. Help me today and give me Your strength. Thank You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Grace Bull is a member of the Ellel Ministries team, working in course development and the support of Ellel centres worldwide, having previously been a full-time GP (family doctor) for 15 years. Her passion is relationship with God and doing anything that will help other people to find that close relationship too.

 

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