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May 23, 2016

When You Feel Like Giving Up

“When I am ready to give up, He knows what I should do….”  Psalm 142:3 (TEV)

Have you ever felt like giving up?  You’re not alone.  Even pastors feel the same – usually on Monday mornings.  Psalm 142 was a prayer of David when he felt overwhelmed and desperate!  He was on the run from King Saul as a fugitive, falsely accused and condemned – wanted dead or alive!  What do you do when you feel like giving up?  Godly men throughout scripture fell victim to such feelings.  Like David, the great prophet Elijah felt that way and, like David, he too went on the run and hid in a cave to try and figure out what to do next.  It was there in the solitude of the cave that God spoke to His men as they cried out in despair.  Their stories provide help for us when we’re ready to throw in the towel and quit.  Whether you are feeling that way or not, it is likely that one day you will. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.  When it happens, Psalms 142 offers wise counsel that will pull you out of a tailspin and put your feet back on solid ground.  It begins with where to take our complaints.

I call to the LORD for help; I plead with Him. I bring Him all my complaints; I tell Him all my troubles.” (Vs. 1-2) 

The difference between David, who was called a man after God’s own heart, and most of us is where he took his complaints.  It was the same difference between the children of Israel and Moses.  In Numbers 11, the whole nation was complaining about their food in the wilderness – Manna, Manna, Manna! We want meat to eat!  They complained to one another.  They complained to Moses.  Feeling overwhelmed and ready to give up, Moses took his complaint to God.  When we take our complaint to God, He hears our heart and knows our needs better than we do ourselves.  He alone can solve our problem.  David took his complaint to God.  What was happening was not fair and didn’t make sense with the destiny God had given him years before. David didn’t deny the severity of his situation.  He took his complaint to God and was honest about his feelings.  Verse four tells us that, even when he looked for someone help him, he said, no one gives me a passing thought!  No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me. Maybe you feel that way too.  You can identify with David’s loneliness and pain.  Cut off from family and friends, surrounded by enemies and false accusations, you don’t know what to do.  That’s when David made a critical decision:

When I am ready to give up, He knows what I should do. In the path where I walk, my enemies have hidden a trap for me. 

LORD, I cry to You for help; You, LORD, are my protector; You are all I want in this life.

Listen to my cry for help, for I am sunk in despair. Save me from my enemies; they are too strong for me.

Set me free from my distress; then in the assembly of Your people I will praise you because of Your goodness to me. (Vs. 3, 5-7) 

When you feel like giving up, echo David’s prayer in Psalm 142.  Instead of giving up, give it over to the God who cares and can see you through!  God saw David through his distress and David offered God praise in the Assembly of His people.  He’s a good, good Father, and He always writes the final chapter!