START HERE

Today’s Truth

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

Hebrews 10:35-36

Friend to Friend

Can I make a confession? Sometimes I quit too soon. I’ve quit when what I really needed to do was to press on and press through. Sometimes I’ve gotten tired of trying. Sometimes I’ve gotten tired of the struggle. And you know what? I’ve missed many blessings because I got tired of the battle. I don’t want to do that any longer. I’m taking my cues from Joshua.

The battle plan to take the Promised Land was as simple as it was strange. March around the city of Jericho with all the armed men. Do this in silence, once a day for six days. Then on the seventh day, walk around seven times with the priests blowing the trumpets. Have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go straight in.

Now, that was a strange plan. God’s infinite ways often don’t make sense in our finite minds. Sometimes you have to be willing to look ridiculous and be radical to live a remarkable life. The choices you make when you feel God’s nudge will become the hinges on which your destiny swings. Each individual decision you make, to obey or ignore God’s promptings and directives, is a thread that weaves the tapestry of your life.

Jericho was tightly shut up. Sometimes it can feel that our promises are tightly shut up. That doesn’t mean that we give up. That means that we suit up, step up, and keep moving forward.

God said, “See, I have delivered them into your hands.” Notice that verb tense. God did not say, “I will deliver them into your hands.” He said, “I have delivered them into your hands.” He had already done it, but they had to obey and put their foot down to receive it. I love how God speaks in past tense to our present problems.

But here’s the conundrum: What do you do when what God says doesn’t match up with what you see? When all you see is a big wall standing between your promise and your present situation?

There will be times when you are doing everything you know to do, and you still don’t see any movement. The Israelites walked around Jericho for six days, and as far as they could tell, nothing happened. I’m sure it unnerved the people behind the wall, but as far as the walkers could tell, not one brick fell.

This is where many give up—when they don’t see any progress. The son is still taking drugs. The daughter is still living with her boyfriend. The husband is still cold and aloof. The bank account is still hovering on in double digits.

“God, throw me a bone,” I cry. “Show me a little something! Let me see just a hint of progress! Can I see one brick fall?” And God says, “Keep walking … by faith.”

Just because you don’t see God working does not mean that He isn’t. Jesus said, “My Father is always at work” (John 5:17). The writer of Hebrews notes: “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:35).

Today, you might be on lap number seven and not even know it. Joshua told them to march around Jericho, but he didn’t tell them how many times they were going to have to do it. He just said to “march forward” and “remain silent.”

Supposed they had stopped on day six saying, “This is ridiculous. I’m not feelin’ it. Not one stone has fallen to the ground. I don’t see any progress. Those folks are probably in there laughing their heads off. I’m going home.”

They would have missed the blessing.

I wonder how many times I have missed the blessing because I stopped too soon. Perhaps you’ve wondered:

  • How much longer will I have to wait until God brings my prodigal home?
  • How much longer will I have to struggle with this unbelieving husband?
  • How much longer will I have to endure this dead-end job?
  • How much longer will I have to go without a job?
  • How many more laps will I have to walk around Jericho before the walls come tumbling down and I can take hold of my Promised Land?

I don’t know the answer to the question of how much longer, but I do know this, tomorrow could be the final lap. Don’t give up too soon.

Can I tell you something? Sometimes I get tired of writing books, posting devotions, and crafting blogs. But as I sit down to the keyboard, I realize that something I say might be just what someone needs to take that last lap around her walled up promise. So I write. And then someone has the courage and sustenance to take one more lap.

Keep going, my friend!

Let’s Pray

Lord, sometimes I just get tired of trying. Tired of hanging on. Tired of believing for a miracle. Fill me with Your power to persevere. I’ll take the next step and believe for the next day. I will not give up!
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Go back and read the story of Joshua and the fall of the wall of Jericho in Joshua 5:13-6:21. I know it ends in a bloody mess. The Sunday school teachers left that part off the flannel board story. Don’t get stuck on that. Concentrate on those laps around the wall. On what day do you think you would have started grumbling?
On what day do you think you would have thought Joshua had a crazy plan?
On what day would you have wanted to give up?
On what day did they see the victory?

I hope this gives you hope! Keep going! One more day. One more lap. But who knows, it could be your last.

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion came from my latest book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold. Let’s take hold of all that Jesus has already taken hold of for us and placed in us! Check it out at www.takeholdthebook.com where you can download a free chapter and watch a video book trailer. The book also comes with a Bible study guide. Make sure and sign up for my weekly blog for more great deals and inspiration.

65 Responses to “Don’t Stop Too Soon”

  1. Jill says:

    I am now feeling like giving up. Reading this has given me hope to carry on. Life is hard. God is good. It is not about me. It is about those that God has me here to touch, to love, to encourage, to share my faith with, to give a kind word to. Give me strength, Jesus, to carry on today.

  2. Brenda says:

    Thank you for your words of encouragement. I’m working with emotionally impaired and at-risk middle school students and some days I feel like I can’t go that seventh lap, but I know God has me there for a purpose. Thank you for the great reminder that God goes before me; I need to rest in that knowledge. Thanks again for your words!!

  3. Maryann Gustafson says:

    Thank you so much..for not giving up..I needed to hear this…

  4. Mina Carlson says:

    Some days are harder than others. God is good, he knows what I need and my impatience fails at times to persevere. Then a devotion from GIG comes along and helps give me a clear sight more energy and confidence to follow Jesus in whatever God has planned for me. Today…I press on! Thank you for stepping into your day and writing this devotion and following his word to help soo many. Love to you for your dedication and vulnerability to help others.
    To help me.

    Hugs, ~Mina

  5. Angie says:

    This is exactly what I needed to read. Thanks ladies for allowing yourselves to be used by God and encouraging women all over the world. May God continue to blesss your ministry and your personal lives.

  6. Julie says:

    first I want to say I found GIG couple years ago. I try to read it everyday, it’s been a big blessing in my life. I have done Knowing God by Name and that was one of my favorite studies. God bless you all aa you continue to be instruments for Him.

    Sharon I needed this devotion today! it spoke to the core of my heart and it was exactly what I needed. thank you! God Bless you.

  7. Lori says:

    Exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you!

  8. Rodette Jones says:

    Please continue to share your talents in this ministry. This message spoke to my heart. I feel thankful that God has put me in your circle to connect your messages each day. Feeling blessed.

  9. Pam Gonzalez says:

    It is like today’s devotional was written just for me, an oh so tired Christian soldier. Trying to live life by faith. With Christ as my focus and example. It is hard some days, not always, just some days. Ever been tired of being tired? Thank you for the sweet sound of encouragement. Victory lies ahead.

  10. Whitney Means says:

    This is truly just what I needed right now. I got to work early this morning and before I could even start my day God said I need to spend time with Him. I have been selected at work for an admin review that has been going on for the past 13 weeks! My husband is a full time nursing student and he been in the middle of finals. We have made so many sacrifices this year hoping to better our future for our new baby girl (we are also first time parents) and we are just simply TIRED and discouraged of trying to jump through hoops and aim for perfection. But then I read this devo…just keep marching, don’t give up, keep moving forward because the wall will come down and we will be rewarded! Thank you for being obedient and not becoming tired of doing this because this was a HUGE blessing for me. Thank you!

  11. Jen says:

    Thank you for this! Just what I needed to hear. Letting some things steal my joy instead of waiting for God’s timing later. Going to focus on living like I should and see where God takes me.

  12. Tracey says:

    One more lap…..if I aim for this today perhaps tomorrow He will sustain me for the next “one more lap”

  13. Machelle says:

    I am so grateful that even when you get tired, you persevere. Because you have made that choice, today I am encouraged to get back to trusting God to bring me through this battle. God uses you to bless lives of countless people. Thank you for obeying God!

  14. Carissa says:

    This was exactly what I needed to read this morning. So clearly from God. Thank you for being a willing vessel!

  15. MaryNell Cash says:

    Exactly what I needed to hear. Another lap, another day of waiting on God’s intervention, another few steps until His promise is revealed…since He gives me the faith, I will gratefully accept it. God has a plan for me…all I have to do is keep walking in faith, waiting on Him, and HE shall bring it to pass. I choose to keep walking hand-in-hand with my Redeemer. Praise God I am never alone though the enemy insists that I am. Thank you, Sharon.

  16. Anna says:

    Thank you! I’m sure sometimes you get weary of all the writing, but know that today your devotional was something I needed to hear. I get weary of praying and not getting answers to prayers that I have been praying for years. Sometimes it makes me wonder about my salvation…is God not answering because I’m not really saved. These prayers are the desires of my heart and I really want to see results. I will continue to perservere. You do the same!

    • If you have repented of your sin, confessed Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you are saved. Don’t let the enemy tell you any differently.

  17. Jasmine G. says:

    Thank you for sharing! I can’t give up on God because he won’t give up on me. There’s so much more that he has for me. I have to keep holding on to Him & keep my focus on Him always.

  18. Roxanne says:

    Thank You for doing what you do dispite your humanness to sometimes want to give up. I love all the teachings. And some days your devo is all I can fit in! It challenges me, feeds me, and loves on me at just the right time, with just the right manna from heaven. It spanks sometimes too!!! Especially when I need it!
    Tx to all 3 of you wonderful, mighty woman of God!

  19. Lexi A says:

    Thank you for taking one more lap for all of us! This is what I needed. I will have to post on my refrigerator. I’ve been marching for 26 years and have wanted to stop many times but God gently nudges me along. I must admit I felt like giving up this week. I love all the messages. I forward to friends everyday praying for seeds to be planted. May God richly bless you for your faithfulness.

  20. Lori McCollum says:

    Thank you Sharon for writing one more devotion, one I’m sure was needed for more than just me. I have spoken those exact words, just throw me a bone, and I often wonder why I keep trying so hard. Thank you for the encouragement, and the reminder.

  21. Mary says:

    Thank you for your devotional reading. It spoke to my heart today. I thank God for those with a gift of writing about His word. Keep on “keeping on”!

  22. Diane. says:

    Thank you for encouraging me to take one more lap today. Thank you!

  23. TNS says:

    Good morning, i’m heavy hearted and i am oh so weary. I’m faced with MANY unanswered prayers. As another sister stated, I question my salvation. Am I really a saved? Do my prayers matter to Christ? Does He listening to my prayers? Due to choices made in the past I am being chastised over & over for them? I felt that my pain is pleasing to Him as pay back. Usually i’m positive, hopeful and see things promisingly. I will boldly speak of God’s love, His promises, His devotion to His children but when i’m in pain, these things don’t apply to me. When He sends trials my way there is NO warning, NO heads up and NO lightload.
    I had a melt-down last because a NEW financial matter arose. I don’t wish to commit suicide but I do wish to check out. This is too much!!!!!!!!! Prayers are appreciated ~

  24. Deb says:

    This was perfect today. Thank you for being obedient and not quitting today. I sometimes feel like I am in going in circles, just like Joshua at Jericho. I, too, have missed the blessings by giving up too soon. Thank you for reminding me that I have an obligation to “be strong and courageous” and not give up on God. His timing is perfect.

    In Jesus’ name.
    Deb

  25. Mary says:

    I needed to hear this, too. I am extremely tired of trying to change my situation to no avail. I feel like a caged animal, so ready to get out of this situation, but seem to keep hitting brick walls. Today I am so angry and resentful of all the people who could have helped me this year and didn’t. I feel like I just can’t go on, but articles like this give me hope to keep going. I sincerely hope that I’m nearing my last lap because I feel like I can’t go on much longer. Thank you for the encouragement!

  26. Heidi says:

    Thankyou for your obedience, your devotional is confirmation of God speaking to me. God is letting me know he hears me, sees me, and not giving up on me.
    My waiting can be frustrated at times, wondering when is God going to answer a desire, a prayer.
    I admit, I dont feel his presence at times. This season that I’m going through is 2 1/2 years to long. But as I read some of the testimonies I become encouraged.
    Thank you and God bless you 😊

  27. Lisa says:

    Thank you Sharon for not giving up and sitting at your desk typing these devotions! I read them daily and they are very inspirational to me and I often share them on my Facebook. As I read them, sometimes I cry, sometimes I rejoice, sometimes I feel convicted…as you said, don’t EVER give up! Thank you for your insight, your wisdom, your love and being a wonderful conduit for Gods Word.

    God Bless you my Sister!

  28. Chris B says:

    This was the MOST perfectly timed devotion for me. I have been so frustrated with God’s timing and seeming unanswered prayers that I feel like ” why even bother praying about this any more”. This devotion gave me a different perspective and a renewed hope. Thank you!

  29. Senny Smith says:

    Thank you!!! 🙂 How beautiful!! This message was so encouraging!! Especially the part where you say, “Sometimes you have to be willing to look ridiculous and be radical to live a remarkable life.”

  30. Julie says:

    Reminded me of “Be not weary in well doing…” Thanks for keeping on. Thanks for sharing sustenance for me to have one more lap. This was quite the boost I needed for today and my gratitude doesn’t quite seem enough but please know that it is sincere. Hang on to all of us needing to keep going!

    Julie

  31. Beth says:

    LOL Whew, Lord!!! This is a good one. ROFL this has been my life. I discovered that my thought life was getting sloppy and as a result a lot of other things were seeming pretty hopeless. I started BEGGING God for some help in this area, and to see a glimpse of light. I got back into the Word and praying more fervent prayers. And I started actually LOOKING and EXPECTING again. Now, praise God my thoughts are clear and I can smile with honesty again. Yeah, we keep trudging forward. As Believers, we really cannot afford to quit, and we sure can’t afford to let doubt take over. It is crushing, debilitating. We gotta keep believing, trusting and praying because otherwise we could miss our blessing! Thanks for this wonderful devotional. Keep on keeping on, sistah!

  32. rhonda says:

    Wow , I definately needed to hear that message, I am facing a baffling situation right now along with fighting a giant , ty for this e couraging uplift , god shows up right on time its just not our time , its his battle and time

  33. Mary Orecchio says:

    I have often wondered just how you write nearly every day and if you grow weary of it. Bless you for forging ahead thinking that your words may help someone. I can confirm that thought — YES, they help. Recently a friend sent me your link. Can’t tell you how many times your words helped me to keep going; to see Scripture come alive in a new way; to help me hold on for just one more day. I so appreciate you, your devotions, your time, your obedience to the Lord to continue doing what He has called you do. When the time comes for you to stop, He will make it clear and He will provide another source for all of us who not only enjoy your message but apply them.

  34. Annemarie says:

    Thank you for writing this blog even though you get tired. It has encouraged me to not give up.

  35. Lisa mckinney says:

    Sharon,
    I have thought of the responsibility you face by having to blog, etc., etc. I’m sure the weight of it all gets heavy at times. Please know that my daily devotion from God is delivered through YOU, and the girlfriends. He speaks to me, and gives me the guidance to persevere and stay the course, because of YOU. Today’s devotional is spot on, timed well, and directed at me. As are so many others, for so many others. Well done, good and faithful servant. I pray for you, that you are able to continue. And, I thank Him for you. You are a blessing!

  36. Vicki says:

    Thank you so much, Sharon. I really needed to hear that today. Great encouragement to keep going and not give up even when our circumstances say the opposite. Thank you for continuing to do what God has called you to do. May you continue to know God’s blessing on your life. Vicki x

  37. Lucretia says:

    Thanks for continuing to allow GOD to use you. GIRLFRIENDS IN GOD is a great blessing to me. I have been dealing with some undiagnosed pain in my body for a long time. Often I have said that I can’t continue on and today i was again thinking about my situation then God led me hear, “Don’t Stop Too Soon”, Oh what a mighty GOD we serve. I’m encouraged to don’t stop now but to press on. GOD reminded me that BY FAITH…
    Thanks again!

  38. Lerato says:

    Thank you for the words of encouragement. It came at the right time, where I’m at the point of being tired and just wanting to give up.
    It is true that God’s infinite mind is not the same as our finite minds.
    His ways are higher than ours so are his thoughts.
    I always ask myself how big of a promise is this that God wants me to wait so long. In as much as I don’t know how long it will take, I do know that God knows best and His word is true.

    Thank you. God bless you!

  39. Debra says:

    Joshua and the Israelite knew exactly how many days to march and God gave them His exact plan/what to do. If we knew exactly how long to wait it wouldn’t be so hard and we wouldn’t need to have so much faith! Maybe that’s the point.😊

  40. Roberta says:

    Thank you so much for this message!
    I have a huge situation in my life that I loose hope in. I wonder Why God, When God, What God. I so often feel like just shutting down, but I can’t because I care, I love. This devotion helps me see it as a continual one more day, one more lap. God is in control of the day, the hour. I just need to continue to walk in Him. Thank you!

  41. Palesa says:

    Thank you so much for your honesty and encouragement and your reminder for me to lift my vision to the unseen. Thank you for the reminder that I need to keep doing what I need to do even if I don’t see the full picture.

  42. Lené says:

    Thank you for your wonderful message!! May God continue to strengthen you as He continues to use you powerfully:)

  43. Marsha says:

    I enjoy reading GIG each morning during my quiet time. Today’s message really resonated with me. I have been struggling with depression and indecision. As a result, my self-confidence is pretty low. Thanks for sharing God’s word telling me to go one more lap.

  44. MaryEllen says:

    Thank you for this timely word and reminder that He is faithful and trustworthy! I have a prodigal son who has buried his pain in alcohol. It has been years of praying, crying out to our Lord and marching around the mountain…..I know HE is faithful, I believe HE is faithful!
    I needed this reminder this morning! Thank you!

  45. Alisha says:

    (Lost my post. Hope didn’t post twice)
    God sent me your message. My husband of 28years left me March 5th. I was very ill at the time. We had a stupid argument in November and shortly after I began getting sick. We never made amends for the argument. He is a loving and soft spoken man. It shocked me and everyone we know when he left. For months I thought I hated him for abandoning me. I would have never done that to him. I hit rock bottom. In June God grabbed me. I had begun to heal mentally and physically. I began to think clearly. I realized this was not my husband. He misread everything I said. I misread everything he texted. God showed me it was Satan tearing my family apart. The argument made a crack and he squeezed in. When I realized who the enemy was I began a battle. Sometimes around the clock. Day after day. God put people in my path that are my mentors. I eat all the spiritual nourishment I can. I pray all hours of the night and through out the day. God has remolded me. But I’m getting tired. He filed papers. My heart is sick. Just yesterday I said for once I wish I could have a bone. Tonight I was going to pray and ask God if it’s too late should I give up. Then I saw your blog. I will never no not ever give up on my family. This is Christmas. A perfect time for a miracle. God bless you!

Leave a Reply

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8