“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
–2 Chronicles 16:9
I read recently about a man in Bucharest, Romania, who was severely beaten by an anti-Christian mob. When Good Friday came, he showed up at church still bearing his bruises and the marks of the beating. As he described what happened, he shared that he decided to pray about the incident. He told his friends that while he could not in good conscience pray for an end to suffering, he had learned to pray this simple prayer: “Lord, give me the strength to go on.”
Have you recently encountered a difficult trial, one that has you at the point of giving up? Throughout Scripture one can read about many who were fully committed to the Lord and felt like giving up.
Most certainly, Abraham and Sarah felt like giving up as they waited for the promised child. Moses, no doubt, felt like giving up, when the Israelites continued to rebel against his authority. David must have felt like giving up, as King Saul constantly sought to kill him. And, don’t you know that Nehemiah wanted to throw in the towel as he led the returning Jews to rebuild the walls surrounding Jerusalem in the face of enemy opposition? Jeremiah proclaimed the word of God to a people who had no interest in hearing it. He was known as the “weeping prophet,” because of his heartache for his people, the Jews. Certainly, he often must have wanted to give up.
And even our Lord and Savior, in His humanity, was tempted to give up. Luke 19:41-42 states, “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.’ Jesus first came to his people, the Jews, but they rejected Him.”
Have you ever known the pain of rejection? Have you ever felt alone as you try to find your way through this life? Have you experienced heartache to the point of tears?
The prophet Habakkuk, who lived at the time of Jeremiah when the nation of Judah had abandoned God, wrestled with the Lord as he tried to understand God’s ways. He didn’t understand why God was allowing evil to go unchecked in his country. When God revealed to him that He was going to raise up the Babylonians to be His instrument of wrath, Habakkuk questioned God about His methods. Have you ever questioned God about the way He seems to be working in your life? Certainly, Habakkuk wanted to give up.
Instead, Habakkuk chose to rest in God’s strength and await His working. Habakkuk 3:17-19 gives us a model to follow: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.”
The Lord is watching us. His eyes are constantly searching the earth for those who are fully committed to Him in order that He might strengthen them. He knows what you are going through. Are you fully committed to the Lord? If so, then know that He will give you the strength to endure whatever you are going through. So don’t give up! Trust God and He will give you the strength to go on!