2009-10-28 / Religion

'Don't Give Up'

Inspiration

(Pastor James Scarborough, Donalsonville Assembly of God)

I have the privilege of visiting quite a few people in our community. While my purpose is to go to them to extend hope and encouragement, and to share the love of Christ with them, I often come away having received encouragement myself.

Not only do I receive a good supply of spiritual fulfillment from those that I visit, it is not rare, either, to be given gifts of home baked cake, fresh vegetables, home canned preserves, and other things. (One particular item that one precious lady has given me is pear honey. If you do not know what pear honey is and how good it is spread on bread, trust me--it is great!)

Back in the spring, I was given some marigold plants. I set them out, tended them, and they grew into beautiful green plants. But they produced very few flowers. I kept them watered, weeded and looked after the best I knew how, but I continued to be disappointed with their performance, so Gale and I decided to pull them up and replace them with some fall plants. We made plans to have a yard day while she was out of school for fall break; included in those plans was the removal of those disappointing marigolds.

Like usual, our plans did not go as expected, and there was no yard day and no removal of those flowerless plants. Interestingly, in just a few days, they broke out into a most beautiful display of orange blooms--not just a few here and there but a full floral display of fall beauty!

There is no doubt that we were glad that we did not destroy them before their time.

Of all the things that we have to be thankful for, we must include gratitude that God does not give up on us. Surely there is a price to pay when we stray away from Him and live in opposition to His plan for us, nevertheless, He still loves us and does not give up on us committing our ways to Him. God reminded His people in Deuteronomy 31:6 that, when they faced their enemies, they could depend on Him: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you"

NIV). Hebrews 13:5 reminds New Testament believers in Christ of this same promise of God's abiding presence with His faithful children.

We should also remind ourselves that we must not give up on trusting God even when things do not seem to be going as we would like. In such times it is essential that we remember that God's timing is not always the same as ours nor do His ways, thoughts and purposes always line up with ours. We must learn to pray and trust in Him, not giving up but allowing Him to bring us into line with His perfect will in our circumstances.

Gale and I would have missed out on something beautiful if we had removed those flowers too soon. It will be tragic if you give up on continuing to trust God. He has not given up on you, so stand in your faith, for today might be the day that your circumstances bloom out into something beautiful for your good and the glory of God.

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