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Just Don’t Give Up by Liesl Mare

Life can sometimes be so hard and the temptation to simply give up can be experienced by anybody – young or old. Not giving up and keeping on keeping on, that is faithfulness. And to keep going, we need to remind each other to keep going. We are not alone in this race; we have fellow pilgrims on this journey, and we need to remind each other to remain faithful, to put one step in front of the other and to keep going.

Years ago, when I started this incredible journey as a daughter of God, I realised that the greatest affirmation the Lord can give me one day is: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” He loved me before time began; He sent His only Son to die for me on the cross, so from His side, He has always been there and will always be. He even says that if I am not faithful, He cannot ever be anything but what He is - and that is faithful. It is part of His character, His nature. He is the very source of the concept of faithfulness and displayed it by sending His Son as a solution to our human choice to believe the serpent-liar. He did not have to do it; He did not have to bring a solution. However, because He is a faithful Father, He made a plan to rescue us from a life of sin and death - even at the cost of Himself and His Son.

2 Timothy 2:11-13(NKJV):

This is a faithful saying:

For if we died with Him,

We shall also live with Him. If we endure,

We shall also reign with Him.

If we deny Him,

He also will deny us.

If we are faithless,

He remains faithful;

He cannot deny Himself.

In our walk with the Lord, we soon realise that our own faithfulness is not a given once saved – it is something that we glean from the nature of our God, through His Spirit. We need to walk with Him, to get it.

Galatians 5:22-23(NKJV):

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

There is a massive difference between a fruit and a gift. I get gifts on my birthday – I don’t have to pay for them, work for them or do anything to get them. A gift is given to me for my pleasure, by someone who cares for me.

Fruit, on the other hand, is cultivated! It takes hard work to get a tree to bear fruit! We have two apricot trees in our garden, and they have not borne fruit in the last 16 years we have lived there. We have tried everything – feeding them, doctoring them and pruning them, but no fruit. Not even tiny fruit - nothing! Then, one day, our neighbour’s friend came to visit them, and they told him about our trees. The visitor is an apricot farmer and was just the right person to help us solve the problem of the unfruitful apricot trees. Some people said the trees would never bear fruit because they are too old. He came, looked at the trees, identified what the problem was and gave advice to get them to bear fruit. Now we are in the season to wait and see if they will bear fruit the next spring - we are expectant because, at last, we know how to treat our trees so that they can yield fruit. Fruit comes with hard work, patience and getting the right sources of water and food.It is the same with the fruit of the Spirit in our lives – it has to be cultivated, fed, nourished and sometimes pruned to be juicy! Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit – not a gift.

The Word is clear in the above scripture that we can be faithless. The very fact that faithfulness is listed as a fruit of the Spirit means that we need His Spirit to bear that fruit! We can release ourselves and realise that the fruit of faithfulness and being faithful to the end, can only be achieved by complete surrender to our Faithful Father through Jesus and His Spirit. The more we dwell with Him and His Spirit, the more it rubs off on us and becomes part of us – manifesting as a fruit. The more we surrender to His guidance, being overcomers through the empowering of His Spirit, the sweeter our fruit becomes.

With the fruit of faithfulness comes a reward! I mean, it is actually mind-blowing – the same God who enables us to be faithful, rewards us for being faithful! In essence, it is He who changes us and makes us able to bear fruit, and then He rewards us for bearing that fruit! God is doubly-good!

Luke 16:10(NKJV):

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

Sometimes we need a reality check; when no one is watching, our faithfulness is just as important as when we do it with everyone watching! We cannot live as man-pleasers; we are God-pleasers and He sees everything, ALL the time! My greatest testing of the fruit of faithfulness was in the seasons when no one was watching. My faithfulness with money, others’ possessions, people’s hearts, stewardship, etc was tested the most when the seasons were difficult. It is more difficult to be faithful with my tithing when money is very low. It is more difficult to protect someone else’s reputation, not vindicating myself, when they have hurt and talked against me. It is more difficult to be faithful to speak life when others curse me.

Proverbs 11:13(NKJV):

A talebearer reveals secrets,

But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.

I love this scripture that talks about a faithful spirit. In the difficult seasons, we have to send our roots deep into the Well of Life. He promised that He is faithful and as we drink of the water of His Spirit, it enables us to be faithful too; we can be a people with a faithful spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24(NKJV):

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

He that called us is faithful and He can enable us to be faithful, right to the end. He is the One that enables us to run the race with endurance until the end – not giving up!

Let us encourage each other to keep going, to keep being faithful:

Hebrews 10:23-25(NKJV):

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Let’s provoke each other saying, ‘Come on, you can do it! Don’t give up; one step at a time and the reward will be yours one day.’ Then when that day comes, we will enter the full joy of our Lord, of His heavenly space for us! The hard work will be over, the race will be over, and we will be able to bask in the glory of the One who says:

Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Matthew 25:21(NKJV).

Don’t give up….

Liesl Mare is a regular contributor at Women of Reverence.

Read full bio here

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