Crossroads: Don’t Give Up

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Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21

Your Story

Have you ever been ready to quit? Has something ever frustrated you so much that you were just ready to give up? Talk about that with your family. Did you give up? Talk about how that felt if you did, or how you pushed through if you didn’t.

My Story and the Bible Story

I love learning different languages. I took French for 7 years in high school and college and I absolutely loved it. I knew what I was doing and I was good at it. When I got to seminary, though, I had to take a semester each of Hebrew and Greek. I loved Hebrew and I was good at it. It was like a puzzle (because you have to read Hebrew right to left instead of left to right). But when I got to Greek, I had a hard time. I didn’t understand why it worked the way it did and it was literally “all Greek to me.” I was frustrated and I wanted to give up. But eventually, the more I studied, the more I understood it. The lightbulb clicked in my head and it started to get easier. I was able to learn it because I didn’t give up.

Read Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21. From The Message: God is all mercy and grace—not quick to anger, is rich in love. God is good to one and all; everything he does is suffused with grace…God gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit. All eyes are on you, expectant; you give them their meals on time. Generous to a fault, you lavish your favor on all creatures. Everything God does is right—the trademark on all his works is love. God’s there, listening for all who pray, for all who pray and mean it. He does what’s best for those who fear him—hears them call out, and saves them. God sticks by all who love him, but it’s all over for those who don’t. My mouth is filled with God’s praise. Let everything living bless him, bless his holy name from now to eternity!

Sometimes we are ready to give up. We get frustrated with something and we just want to quit. Maybe for you it’s a team sport. You made the team but you’ve been stuck on the bench all season. Everyone else gets to play, but you’re still sitting there. You’re tired of waiting and ready to quit. Or maybe it’s math class. Maybe you just don’t understand and you’re ready to give up. Maybe you’re being bullied at school and, no matter what you do, the bully doesn’t stop. And you are ready to give up. Whatever it is, there are times in our lives when things are hard, when we are discouraged, and we are ready to quit. In those times, we can turn to passages like Psalm 145, where it says that God gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit. God sees everything and knows exactly how you feel. God knows when you are ready to quit. And God is there, ready to help you through. God is ready to give you a hand and help you make a fresh start. All you have to do is pray and ask God for help.

Does that mean that the bully will stop or you will suddenly understand algebra? Maybe, but maybe not. What it does mean is that the God who created the universe will help you. God will give you the strength to keep going and God will be right there beside you, encouraging you to keep going and not to give up. As Psalm 145 says, Everything God does is right—the trademark on all his works is love. God’s there, listening for all who pray, for all who pray and mean it. He does what’s best for those who fear him—hears them call out, and saves them. God sticks by all who love him. God sticks by you, through the good and the bad, when you are happy and when you are sad, when things are great and when you’re ready to give up. So don’t give up because God is right there with you, ready to help.

Discussion

• Ask your children to talk about a time when they wanted to quit/give up. What happened? What did they do?
• Talk about ways you and your family can encourage one another when someone wants to give up.
• Talk about ways to encourage others (friends, people at school, etc.) when they want to give up.

Prayer

Thank God for helping us not give up. Thank God for always being there for us.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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