by Dr. Gary Yarbrough
Director, Pastoral Care
Shelby Baptist Medical Center
Don’t give up! You or someone you love may have felt like giving up. The ‘sense of hopelessness’ and ‘lack of purpose or meaning’ transcends age, race or economic status. If you’ve ‘been there, done that,’ you know exactly what I’m talking about.
If you are ‘in the moment’ experiencing hopelessness and despair for any reason, my hope and prayer is that you would have an immediate awareness and assurance of God’s love and presence. You are loved. You are God’s child and you are created in God’s image. The scriptures say that “God will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). This promise of God is of no practical use to us unless we believe it to be true. At times, the Psalmist would be in a state of inner turmoil and cry out to himself, “My soul, why are you cast down; why are you disquieted, troubled and perplexed within me?” (Psalm 42:5a). Immediately, the spirit of God reminded him of His presence and promises. The Psalmist’s internal cry would then become, “Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my help and my God!” (Psalm42:5b).
I could share stories of other people who have felt like giving up. Those stories could, perhaps, be a source of encouragement to you. I could share some of my personal stories with you. God has been and is faithful and true. But, the greatest and most meaningful story – and the one that you can relate to the most – is your own! Fortunately, we don’t have to rely on our own strength or abilities to make us feel worthy, loved, accepted or forgiven. God has already done that. God is presently doing that. God will continue to do that within us for He alone is ‘author and finisher’ of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Gracious and merciful LORD, come and speak words of peace, strength and hope to the depths of my soul when I’m so overwhelmed and feel like giving up. Thank you, LORD, for your gentle healing touch. I love You, LORD. You are, truly, my help and my God. I will forever place my hope and trust in You. Amen.