Saints of the Most High
“It is God himself, in his mercy, who has given us this wonderful work [of telling his Good News to others], and so we never give up.” (2 Corinthians 4:1).
Some years ago Our Daily Bread shared the following story about Sir Winston Churchill. Churchill attended grade school at Harrow where he was in the lower third of his class and showed no particular potential. After he graduated he went on to university and eventually became famous.
Near the end of his life he was invited back to Harrow to address the student body and was introduced as one of the greatest orators of all time. The students were told to take plenty of notes.
When Sir Winston addressed the boys he said, “Young gentlemen, never give up! Never give up! NEVER GIVE UP! Never! Never! Never! NEVER!” That was his entire address. He then sat down. I’m certain that none of those students ever forgot that advice.
And that is God’s advice and word to us. If we interpreted God’s message to the Hebrew Christians fully, it would be: “God said, ‘I will never, never, never, never, never [five times over] leave you or forsake you” or “I will never, not ever, not ever, leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Here is a repetition of words but it is not so in the Bible.
Isn’t it interesting that God repeated His words over and over and over again? Why? For our benefit, of course! He’s done the same in Matthew 7:7 where it says, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: The actual wording is “keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking.” This thing about “asking” has been a huge source of misleading preaching and teaching because it is a basic tenet reaching from the charisprobra* who assume and teach that Jesus is saying that as a Christian, “ask for anything you want and I’ll give it to you.”
Maybe you are asking yourself, “Is God really in control?” “If He is, then how much control does He have?” “What if he is not in control? Then who is?” Or, “How do I learn to trust that He indeed is in control and how can I be comfortable with that?” Control is all about sovereignty and look at what Isaiah 14:24 says: “The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, ‘Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass And as I have purposed, so shall it stand.'” In the same Isaiah 46:10 He says “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times what is still to come. I say my purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”
As we enter the weekend, please think about the following:
Not now, not ever is God trying to find out what’s going on, what’s going to happen as history and events unfold. It is a choice to believe whether He is in control of all things or not. If for once you think that He needs mankind’s cooperation in order for history to unfold or, as some claim, unless we exercise our free will He cannot bring His plans to pass, then I applaud you and crown you God because that’s what it is: putting yourself in control over Him, which in effect makes you God. But you know where we first heard that lie, right? In the Garden of Eden so such thinking is not new; it is as old as satan. He is the father of lies who never comes up with anything new but the same old lies over and over and over; he is the one who, in Genesis 3:5, told Eve “you shall be like God”. God has ALWAYS been in control and He says to you, “Never, ever give up.”
It is this same God who has said never give up. And if this same God’s advice to us is to never, never give up, isn’t that something? This is the greatest reason why we, too, must never give up.
Proposed prayer: “Dear God, thank You for the wonderful assurance that You will never ever leave me or forsake me. Help me to never ever leave or forsake You … not ever. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
The Lord bless you in all your undertakings and don’t ever give up.
* charisprobra: charisprobrum or grace-abusers.
Charis is Greek for grace or gift and probrum is Latin for abuse. Grace“ is an attribute of God and I coined this word hoping to assist others in identifying the difference between the health and wealth and word of faith preachers (prosperity preachers) and other evangelicals.