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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 was adapted from my 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! Click on the title and you will be able to download a free chapter and watch a video book trailer. The book also comes with a Bible study guide that is perfect for individual and group Bible studies. If you love coloring journal pages, you can find them free on my homepage.

30 Responses to “Don’t Stop Too Soon”

  1. Thais says:

    Hi,

    This ministry has blessed my life, God speaks through you. Keep writing.

    Greetings from Brazil.

  2. Kim says:

    Oh my goodness !! When I read the words that you sometimes wondered if your postings made any difference to peoples lives, I knew I had to send you a reply..

    What a year this is been for me. One challenge after another.

    First in May, I had hip replacement surgery. Now don’t get me wrong, the hip surgery was anticipated and greatly appreciated. But of course, there was time spent recovering.

    Then, I got bit by a bat in my house while I slept. Because I didn’t know any better, instead of calling animal control and letting them come out and catch the bat so that it could be tested, I chased the bat out of the house. But then I had to go through the rabies prevention shots..

    In September, my beloved kitty of 18 years, Missy, had to be put to sleep as her health took a sudden and severe downward turn. I am still grieving the loss.

    Now after this I had to have bat remediation at my house. The folks who did my bat remediation were absolutely wonderful but the financial setback hit me hard.

    And finally, the day before Thanksgiving, I became aware that I had been hit with credit card fraud and identity theft. I am still dealing with the fallout of that experience and it is a challenge I would not wish on my worst enemy if I had one.

    So as you can see, there have been many times during this year when I have wanted to just give up. But your words helped me to understand that I am not alone with this feeling and I just need to have faith. Thank you for being there for me and others. GOD BLESS.

    Kim

  3. Cecilia says:

    Powerful devotional. Thank you!

  4. Meg says:

    Wonderful and encouraging blog today, Sharon. Ty! Sometimes even the very first day, the first step, is the hardest. Others, it’s the in between days or the tail end yet we can’t see it days that’s the hardest. That’s why I must ready myself for the battle every day. Oh, and rest when I need to rest to prepare to fight again. Resting is not giving up or quitting, not if you’re planning w God how to battle next. Never give in, never give up! Keep fighting the good fight and pour from a full cup. Xoxo
    Meg

  5. Billie says:

    Sharon, Dont ever give up. I so look forward to your post. I read them and they lift me up. I share them and pray they have lifted someone also. Thank you for all you do. I know God has sent you to so may people. Big Hug

  6. Amy says:

    Thank you for this post! It has given me hope to keep praying for my grown children even when I don’t see any signs of answers! I will persist in praying that God will intervene in their lives and turn them back to Him!

  7. Sherri says:

    Hi Sharon, PLEASE do not stop!!! You are SUCH a warrior. I look forward to “hearing” from you daily. I always end the rwading in tears of JOY just thinking if God’s grace and mercy. Be encouraged and stay strong. Abundant blessings to you and your family.

  8. Joy says:

    Amen. As for me, I’m not really like to leave a comment even on Facebook, I don’t. The only reason I leave a comment here most of the times is to show my support of what GIG doing. I don’t have a job so I don’t have the capability of donating money but I can show my support to GIG that I’m benefiting with your daily post.

  9. Wendy says:

    This is exactly what I needed today. I feel like we’ve been in this battle forever and I’ve become so discouraged at times. I’ve asked God to just show me something, anything to give me hope in this situation. I know, by faith, he is at work. For now I get up and take it a day at a time. I remind myself that me or my loved ones may not even be here tomorrow, so I am going to enjoy this day and not waste it by worrying.
    “You could be on your seventh lap and not even know it,” has given me that hope for today. Thank you!

  10. Melody says:

    Sharon,

    Thank you for being real. Yes. What you do and your fellow GIGers do is awesome and inspiring! Have a blessed Christmas!

  11. Denise says:

    You don’t know how God has used this to speak directly to me. I’ve been praying for over 5 years for a specific situation within our family & I have to confess there have been times I’ve just wanted to throw my arms in the air & say “What’s the use”. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

  12. Carola says:

    Gracias. Por cada palabra. Que es propicia. Para cada situación que paso. Me alienta a continuar a la brecha. Saludos.

  13. Deborah says:

    Sharon,
    Thank you for reminding me that God is working “undercover” I have made many changes in my life this year and sometimes I question some of the decisions I have made, even though they have been with fervent prayer and clear direction from God. I forget we are an instant world who is being guided by a timely God and it is important to take all the steps to get where he wants us to be, even if it means i’m walking around a wall seven times which would never make sense to me but makes perfect sense to God. Thank you for all you do and for blessing me today.

  14. Senny says:

    Amen! I’ll take this devotion to the bank! I love you, Sharon Jaynes! Thank you!

  15. Maria says:

    Sharon, I thank God for speaking to us through your writing and that you didn’t give up. I needed this reminder today! You are making a difference.

  16. Kathi says:

    I am TOTALLY in agreement with the other GiG girls! Your article on not giving up is SUCH a blessing. It brought a tear to my eye. Sooo many times I give up as well. Your devotion has instilled in me a new outlook. Waiting on God we learn the things God wants us to learn in our walk with Him, and you’re so right, we miss out on so many blessings by giving up on our God. He sees the WHOLE picture. I am praying for increased faith to trust Him even though I DON’T see anything happening.
    Thank you, Jayne for your honesty. All you GiG girls are such blessings to your readers. It is so refreshing to hear your struggles & what you have learned with each one of them. Then, to share them with us is such a sweet blessing.
    God bless ALL of you.
    Kathi

  17. Linda says:

    I thank you so much for this devotional. It was exactly what I needed to hear today. I love GIG! It has been such an encouragement in my life. I’m going to take that next lap. Again thank you and God bless you!

  18. Ivy says:

    this caught me right where I am.

    thanks for your transparency. Christians don’t always share their struggles, which can make newer Christians feel alone and discouraged when they themselves are struggling & want to give up. I feel like giving up a lot, especially lately. So this devotional was right on time! thanks for continuing to encourage your readers despite how you feel. It’s paying off in more ways that you realize. 🙂

  19. Sue says:

    Thank you for this reminder to stay the course!

    There is hardly a post that goes by from you girls that doesn’t hit home for me in some form or another. So please stay your course and remember that just because we don’t always flood the wireless waves with comments doesn’t mean it hasn’t made a difference in at the very least one person’s life.

    Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas season and a fruitful year to come.

  20. Amy H says:

    Dear Sharon, I am uncertain of ways to contact you, but I needed to convey what a blessing you have been to my husband and I in a season of trial and uncertainty, shifts and stretching. I have been using your book “Praying For Your Husband from Head to Toe” for a few months now and it has proved to be an invaluable tool in upholding him in this season of change and discomfort. (I have given it as a gift to:several couples, including my daughter and her unsaved husband) We know God cares far more for our character than our comfort, and He is in this as He has been every other season of our lives. Your devotionals bless our hearts on so many levels, and you have bolstered us through some difficult days with your God breathed wisdom and encouragement. Thank you! I hope I can meet you someday and simply give you a hug for your faithful service to God and His calling on your life! You are being prayed for! Blessings, Amy

  21. Heather says:

    I needed to read this today. Thank you for continuing to be used by the Lord. Because of your obedience, I am gonna take another lap. Thanks so much.

  22. Allison says:

    I really needed this message today! Keep pressing Sharon and thanks for letting God speak to us through you. God bless

  23. Rebecca Jones says:

    He has to be mine, Sharon. Thank you.

  24. Sandrine says:

    Thank you so much for today’s devotion! I have a prodigal aged 15 who has spiralled into drugs and hanging around people giving him bad advice. He is also a school refuser and suffers from depression. It seems at times that my prayers do not move any mountains, it feels that God is absent…but despite these moments of discouragement I know that I serve a God who can turn impossible situations around and a Father who loves me more than I can imagine. Your devotion refuelled me with hope. Thank you…

  25. Honey says:

    I really needed that reminder to not give up

    God Bless you

  26. Vilma says:

    Thank you this was an encouragement to me!

  27. Lydia says:

    Thanks so much for posting one more devotion. This has been a difficult year, and I needed that reminder to persevere! I also loved that God said, “I HAVE delivered…” To me, that is a reminder that God has already crafted the future, and is just waiting for me to walk through it with Him. What a blessed thought! My future is in HIS hands!

  28. Melissa says:

    Sharon,

    I am so thankful that you have chosen to not give up blogs and writing. You have been a blessing to me in the darkest moments. God speaks to me through you all the time. You are a treasure and God has truly blessed you with a gift of sharing and writing.

  29. Kate says:

    Thanks Sharon, I really appreciate your words each morning. Praise God for your faithfulness, you bless so many people! xx

  30. McKesur says:

    Thank you for your obedience to God’s calling on your life. I will be teaching an online workshop in 3 weeks about persevering to achieve God’s goals even when it looks like nothing is happening. This is encouraging to me, and I will keep going even when it seems like nothing is happening. I’m in that season now, but I’m will walk however many laps I have to go to achieve God’s best for my life.

    Thank you for your inspiration, and I have to be consistent, focused and persistent in my laps for God.

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"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