Don't Give Up

Have there ever been a time when you thought of giving up? Let's see how Jesus Christ can give us a reason to live when we are about to give up.
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Read: John 5:6-9 NIV

During this pandemic time, we are facing so many challenges. For us seafarers, we might be struggling with getting on board or going home because of the closed ports. But we must not give up whatever the circumstances because we know that God is in control.

When we say do not give up, it’s about whatever the circumstances may be, we will never give up. Like when I was in the academy when I was a cadet, you should really not give up, because if you do, you will not be able to graduate. What gives us the strength to not give up in whatever circumstances? It’s amazing how in my 3 years inside the academy, I did not give up. I strive hard. Sometimes, it is too much to bear, but I did my best to do it still. God is in control that whatever problems we are going through, we will be able to conquer if we trust God in our lives (because He alone can, you can't).

“When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he was in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath.” (John 5:6-9 NIV)

If you are familiar with this story, there is a man who was paralyzed who was staying in that place for a long time waiting. The pool of Bethsaida at that time has had a rumor that there is an angel who was stirring the pool and will heal any diseases of anyone who will go there in the pool (it was called Bethesda). Now this lame man who was waiting for a long time it is us as well, we might have lost hope as we are waiting. But that man was just waiting untiringly and keeps on praying for someone who will help him someday to be able to go to the pool and be healed. If we look at how we are living in our lives right now, there may be people among us that are waiting for something, that is experiencing problems in their lives, or are in a hopeless situation and feels like no one is there to help them.

That man, after the long years of waiting, Jesus came there and helped Him. In that we encounter, that’s life-changing in the life of that person. He was already hopeless at that time but still, when he met Jesus, he was healed.

1. No matter how long you have had the problem it is too soon to lose hope.

No matter how you're to grieve the problems you are experiencing right now, let us not give up. God made us wait because there is a purpose, He is in control.

Romans 3:28 “For all things work together for good for those who love God and called according to His purpose.”

 We must have the willingness to wait because God has a purpose for our lives. He is molding us to become the purpose He wants us to be. But do not lose hope if there are things in your life that are not yet fulfilled, not yet fixed, because God is molding you. He is disciplining you to become a better person.

No matter how long you wait, do not give up. Either you are waiting to join the vessel, or you are waiting for a promotion, if you have problems that are not yet fixed, or if you are struggling financially, God is able to provide. Just like the invalid man who was waiting for someone who will help him in the pool because he can’t go there because he can’t walk. With those many people, no one helped him.

God is a God of hope and He will fulfill what He has promised us. God gave us so many promises and He can fulfill all of those (and many He has already fulfilled). His ways are greater than our ways and His thoughts are greater than our thoughts. That’s why you cannot question God why these things are happening to our lives because you are just created and you need to trust the Creation.

2. No matter if there is no human, medical or financial help, God can still help

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath.” John 5:7-9 NIV

 If you look at that situation, the lame man waited so long in that pool. It seems like there really is no one there to help him. There was really no one to help him because he cannot walk. But when Jesus went there, in the pool of Bethesda, Jesus didn’t neglect his desire to go to the pool and be healed. Though the man’s desire was to go to the pool to be healed, Jesus healed him directly. That’s how amazing the Lord is in our lives if only we have faith in Him. The faith that is as small as a mustard seed, we can move mountains and do great things. Just like the invalid man, even though he is invalid but because he has the faith that made him well. Though he really wants to go to that pool to be healed God showed him that he was healed, not because of that pool but because of God alone. That’s how powerful God is.

It might seem impossible for humans, but it is possible to God.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:6 NIV)

In our lives, there are times that we lose hope and would say that there is no end to this. But if we pray and trust God, those things that we can’t understand and control, God can change that. And we need to trust Him in those situations. Those things that are unseen to us, we must trust God. Whatever may happen, we should never give up, even in our hopeless situation. Still, God is in control. We should just pray and pray and pray unto Him and trust Him in the happenings in our lives because He has a purpose.

That time, you can see in that man, that no one helped him, not even one. But God is willing to help us whatever may happen. That’s why, even though we can’t seem to feel God and got lost in our faith, but if we draw closer to God, He is willing to help us, He is willing to restore us, and forgive us for all the sins that we have done. And we see that in our hopeless situation, even now, you may be going through a hopeless situation and would like to give up, but don’t lose hope. Don’t give up because God is just there. Just trust God with your life. Have faith! Though the future is uncertain, if we just trust God, we know that someone is at work, something's about to happen. Because God is working in ways that we cannot see. That’s how magnificent God is.

I know that God will not leave us. Like that invalid man, He will deliver us, He will fix our problems in just a single second. If He answers our prayers, nothing is impossible with God. It’s about finding rest in God whatever may happen in your life. If you don’t trust God, you are on your own, and the more we can’t trust ourselves. Because we don’t know what will happen next. But God knows everything, knows who you are, He knows what is happening in your surrounding and He is in control because everything in this world is His creation.

A.     No matter how long you have had your problems, it is too soon to lose hope. –

Our first point is telling us to never lose hope, don’t give up, strive high, and pray hard. Prayerfully pray to God because He knows what's to happen. But it is still the will of God that will prevail. And the will of God is the best for us. Even when the outcome is unfavorable to us, it is the best for us. If you look back in your life according to what is happening right now, you will be more joyful thinking of what God has done. Maybe right now, we may not realize how good God’s will for us is, but one day you will realize if you look back to this. Just keep trusting God, whatever situation you are in right now, just trust God. That is our main point: To have faith always. Just as Paul said in Philippians, “To run the race and finish the race.” You cannot finish the race without running for it. Strive hard, be disciplined. Be an athlete and do not give up. That is important when you are running the race so you can finish it. Don’t give up.

B.     No matter if there is no human, medical, or financial help, God can still help.

Only when it is the Lord that is our stronghold, He is the only one we are abiding by in whatever circumstances so that we will not get lost in our faith, we will not give up in our faith, we need to call for help in God. And God will help us in all circumstances that we are having.

I just want to let you know that giving up is telling yourself that you lose (to) God, that you did not strive hard, and was not able to finish the race.

Photo by: Jaime Legaspino