We are in a series of messages called Always True. We are looking at five promises of God that deal with who He is and what we need. The better we understand God and His promises the better we will understand our own lives and how to live them.
Today we are examining the faithfulness of God and how that impacts our endurance and perseverance in living for Him. Today’s lesson is called “God is Always Faithful: I will not give up.” There are going to be times in your life when you feel like giving up and you feel like the situation is too much for you and you want to call it quits. It’s at those times in your life you need to remember God’s promise to you regarding His faithfulness to you.
- Some husbands and wives want to give up on their marriage way to early, when God says I will be with you to fight for your marriage and family.
- Some people want to give up on having a bright future, because they lost a job or the bills are too much… but God says listen to me and I will give you the strength and wisdom to get your financial house in order.
- Some people look at their health, their past regrets, relationships, or something else and they feel defeated, beat up, and overwhelmed. But God says you may slip, you may struggle, you may get tired, but I am with you to provide strength, direction, hope, and a future for you.
God is always faithful and because of that you and I should never give up. With that said, I want you to see and listen to Isaiah 40:1-3 very carefully.
Isaiah 43:1 says, “But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (NLT).
From those three verses God gives us several reasons why you will endure, continue, not give up, hold on, and make it through whatever you are going through. These are reasons why you will not cave in when you lean on Him, trust His promises and His ways.
You will not give up because you listen to God
Number one, you will not give up because you listen to God. Verse 1 says, “But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord…” (NLT). The reason you are able to walk through the waters, rivers, and fires of life is because you have chosen to listen to what God has to say about you and your circumstance and you have chosen to believe Him rather than your emotions and what the world is saying about you.
Let’s make it personal
The first step to enduring and persevering through the fires of life is listening to the Lord. Let’s make this personal. Look at this phrase again, “But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord.” But now, O Jeff, listen to the Lord. But now, O Pam, listen to the Lord. But now, O Lisa, listen to the Lord. But now, O Billy, listen to the Lord. Read that again, but this time put your name where Jacob is. Make it personal.
Let’s make it present
Again, look at this phrase closely. It says, “But NOW, O Jacob, listen to the Lord.” Right now. Today. This moment. Listen to what God has to say about you and your situation. This means that you are going to start talking to God about what’s going on in your life, if you haven’t already. This means you are going to start studying God’s Word about what’s going on in your life and see what He has to say about it. This means you are going to talk to other Christians and get their wisdom about the fire you are going through. You will not give up because you have chosen to listen to what God has to say.
You will not give up because God created you for a purpose
Number two, you will not give up because God created you for a purpose. Look at verse 1 again, “But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you” (NLT). You were not created by some wacky creator in a basement somewhere. You were created by God, the creator of the universe. The one who created everything you see and don’t see, everything you know about and don’t know about. This is significant.
When God created you, He created you with a purpose in mind. You are not an accident. You are not a surprise. You are not a second thought. If you don’t believe me, listen to what God says about you.
- Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (NLT).
- Psalm 139:13, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. (14) Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it” (NLT). God prescribed every single detail of your body. He deliberately chose your race, the color of your skin, your hair, and every other feature. He custom-made your body just the way he wanted it. He also determined the natural talents you would possess and the uniqueness of your personality.
- Psalm 139:16 says, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. (17) How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!” (NLT). Because God made you for a reason, he also decided when you would be born and how long you would live. He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death.
- God says in Isaiah 46:3, “I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. (4) I will be your God throughout your lifetime – until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you” (NLT).
God created you so He could love you. You are significant. You have a purpose. You were formed by an amazing and awesome Creator and because of this you will not give up.
You will not give up because you have been ransomed
Number three, you will not give up because you have been ransomed. Look at this in verse 1, “But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you” (Isaiah 43:1, NLT). God says that He has “ransomed” us. Some Bible translations use the word redeemed. Let’s talk about this idea of being ransomed.
To understand being ransom or redemption you need to understand slavery in the Bible. The word ransom means to buy or to purchase. A person who wanted to purchase a slave would go to the slave market and bid on slaves as they were put on the auction block and offered for sale. And depending on how much buyers wanted a slave the purchase and bidding price could go very high.
If you were buying, redeeming, or ransoming a slave you had three options:
- You could buy the slave and make him your own slave and servant,
- Or you could sale him to another buyer in order to make a profit off of him.
- Or you could buy the slave and set the slave free.
Listen to what Jesus said about Himself in Matthew 20, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (v.28, NLT). You are probably familiar with the idea of paying a ransom for someone who has been kidnapped or taken prisoner and is being held until the payment that’s demanded is met.
Now listen carefully, through the sin of Adam, you and I were kidnaped by sin and held in bondage the moment we were born. A price for our freedom was already set. The Bible says, “For the wages [price, cost] of sin is death” (Romans 6:23, NLT). The only One who could pay that price for mankind was the perfect lamb of God, Jesus Christ. You were a slave to sin and Jesus walked up to the auction block that you stood on and offered to pay the incredibly high price to set you free. He have His life as a ransom for you. Because of your freedom from sin that Jesus bought for you, you are motivated to give 100% and to not give up.
You will not give up because you belong to God
Number four, you will not give up because you belong to God. Isaiah 43:1 says, “But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine” (NLT). Have you ever been on a winning team? It’s contagious. It affects everything. You practice smarter and harder. You go into games expecting to win. You walk around with your head held high. Even when you have a bad play, you know there is another play coming. You begin to think like a winner. Feel like a winner. Play like a winner. Practice like a winner. This happens because you are called by the name of the team that wins. You belong to the winning team.
This is even more true when you know you belong to God’s team and He knows you personally by name.
- Listen carefully, God’s team according to God’s Word is described as “more than victorious” (Romans 8:37, HCSB).
- Deuteronomy 20:4 says, “For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!” (NLT).
- Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (NLT).
- Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” (NLT).
- 1 John 5:4 says, “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith” (NLT).
I think you get the idea. You are not going to give up, give in, and wave the white flag of defeat because you belong to God. He calls you by name and you belong to Him. As a follower of Jesus, you are on a winning team and you will not give up.
You will not give up because God is with you
Number five, you will not give up because God is with you. Verse 2 goes on to say, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you” (NLT). God allows us to go through difficult times and sometimes He leads us into them. No matter how we ended up in that hard time God says, “I will be with you.”
- God says He will be with you “when you go through deep waters.” Deep waters don’t begin deep. Do you remember being a kid and you are in the swimming pool and you begin to go toward the deep end, your toes are barely touching, waters has come to your chin and you can barely swim and the next thing you know you realize you cannot touch the bottom and you begin to panic. At that moment someone grabs you or you remember you are close enough to the edge to grab hold of the side of the pool, or a life guard jumps in saves you. That’s how God is, He is going to allow you to go to the deep end but when you need help someone is going to pull you out or you will be able to grab hold of the side or some kind of floating devise to get back to the shallow end.
Everybody has problems, but most of our problems are at the shallow end… but every now and then we find ourselves in the deep waters. When you are in the deep waters it can feel like you are drowning, when you can’t touch bottom you will feel unsecure. But God says, “When you go through the deep waters, I will be with you.” You will not be alone.
Sometimes God will take you straight to the deep waters. I used to scuba dive and part of the training involved taking all your scuba gear – your tank, mask, weights, and fins and throwing them into the deep end of the pool. And let them sink to the bottom. Then the instructor tells you to jump in and swim to the bottom and put everything on under water. Listen carefully to me. I knew that my air tank and mask were at the bottom and I knew I could do this. But there will be times when God allows or takes you to the deep end of the waters of life and you begin to sink, but when God is with you even when you start going under there will be an oxygen tank at the bottom of the pool. God is going to get you through. Ask people like Jonah whose oxygen tank was a giant fish or ask Moses who oxygen tank was for God to divide the sea, ask Noah who finally saw dry land again, or ask Jesus who walked on the water. Your deep water problem is no problem for God.
- Now watch this. God goes on to say, “When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown” (NLT). Deep waters is one thing, but to be in a river with a current that is trying to pull you down and drag you under is something completely different. Sometimes you may feel like your life is sinking in deep water, but then there are those times where you feel like you are having to fight against something that is trying to pull you down. God says, “Don’t quit, I will be with you then as well.”
- Now watch this. God goes on to say, “When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you” (NLT). When life heats up, the stress level is high, the criticism is relentless, the oppression is uncalled for, the cruelty unwarranted, and the harassment unjustified God says, “Don’t quit, I am with you.”
One of the things that is common about each one of the statements is the word “through.” God does not say He will remove the deep waters, the river of difficulty, or the fire of oppression but He does say that as you “walk through” or “go through” this season of your life He will not abandon you, He will help you, guide you, and strengthen you.
Some people when they go into a problem, don’t come out…, but not you! You will trust God and not give up. You will get through the deep waters, you will get through the rivers, and you will come out on the over side of the fire. You will not quit.
You will not give up because God is your LORD
Number six, you will not give up because God is your LORD. Verse 3 says, “For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (NLT). Whenever you see all caps describing the LORD, it is referring to God’s sovereign power and control. The reason He can ransom you and get you through water you are facing is because He is LORD. He is sovereign. All powerful. All knowing. All present. Completely in control even in the midst of your storm. You will not give up because of who you look up too.
So, what deep water do you find yourself in today? What river of difficulty or fire to you see yourself about to go through? If you are there, God is saying to you today don’t give up, He is faithful and He will get you through.
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