This morning I played a piano solo at church.
With God’s help it turned out pretty well, although I made a few mistakes. But I kept on going. I couldn’t just stop playing because I made a mistake.
I mean how crumby would that be, to get everyone’s hopes up to hear some music by which to worship God, then the music suddenly stops on a sour note as the pianist gets up from the piano and walks away without finishing what she started?
Wouldn’t that be a shock to the other worshipers?
I mean, it discourages me that I make mistakes, but would it be right for me to discourage others in God’s family by giving up in the middle of an offering of worship like that?
I think not.
I think everyone enjoyed much more my flawed offering that was poured out to the very last drop. The Lord is able to make it a sweet aroma to Himself.
Have you ever been tempted to give up in your Christian walk or in some service to which God has called you because of some mistake or mistakes that you have made? I know it can be embarrassing, but God has called us to finish the race and to finish it well. He knows we will make mistakes. He has seen every mistake we have ever made and every mistake we will make in the future, but He loves us anyway.
In fact, He knew every mistake I would make and every sin I would commit before I was born. He already knew every one of them when Jesus died for me. He prepared ahead of time not only to forgive me but also to pick me up when I would fall and to encourage me to continue the race (or the song, or the job, or the speaking, or the writing, or the fight for a cause, or the witness, or whatever it would be that I might be tempted to quit.)
And He prepared the same for you as well.
I’ve discovered from Scripture and from life that sometimes we can give up on something worthwhile just a little too soon. And the consequences can be dire. (Think Abraham and Hagar?) If God has put us on a course and given us a calling, throwing in the towel is like saying, “You were wrong, God. (And I’m obviously smarter than you since I know this and You don’t.) I’m putting my foot down, God. I’m through. I quit. I’m not obeying You anymore. Go find somebody else. I’m moving on (away from Your will, but oh well).” Ouch. It makes me cringe to hear it this way.
I mean we may not actually say it to God in those words, but isn’t it kind of shocking how we can lie to ourselves about our bad attitudes and how they grieve the heart of God?
So, dear sister (or brother), if you are in the midst of a mind battle like this one, don’t give up. Hang in there. You never know when the answer to your prayers might just be right around the corner. God will equip you to continue even in the face of hardship.
Joshua 1:9 NIV “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (emphasis mine)
Acts 20:24 NIV “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” (emphasis mine)
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