Don’t Give Up
Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up. Acts 27:20
One morning last year—it was 3:20 a.m.—actor Chris Pratt was riding through Atlanta following eighty hours of exhaustive filming on a movie. Looking over the darkened streets, he felt burdened for the downtrodden. Pratt, who professes Christ, wrote a note on Instagram. He recalled the many years when he had to “hustle hard and go hungry. I had to eat sardines and figure out how to get gas money,” he said. “Don’t give up.” Pratt credits his inspiration to an encounter outside a liquor store when he was 19. A stranger stopped him, told him about Christ, and gave him a message that changed his life.
When you’re eating sardines and seeing meager results, and when neither sun nor stars appear for many days, it’s easy to give up. In the story of the storm in Acts 27, even the seasoned sailors—even the writer, Luke!—gave up. But God had not given up, and He was stronger than the storm.
When discouragement begins to creep into your life, look to Christ and don’t give up. He will keep you from sinking.
His we are by creation, for He made us; by preservation, for He maintains us; by redemption, for He bought us. We are more His than our own. Matthew Henry
Are You Obsessed by Something?
Who is the man that fears the Lord? —Psalm 25:12
Are you obsessed by something? You will probably say, “No, by nothing,” but all of us are obsessed by something— usually by ourselves, or, if we are Christians, by our own experience of the Christian life. But the psalmist says that we are to be obsessed by God. The abiding awareness of the Christian life is to be God Himself, not just thoughts about Him. The total being of our life inside and out is to be absolutely obsessed by the presence of God. A child’s awareness is so absorbed in his mother that although he is not consciously thinking of her, when a problem arises, the abiding relationship is that with the mother. In that same way, we are to “live and move and have our being” in God (Acts 17:28), looking at everything in relation to Him, because our abiding awareness of Him continually pushes itself to the forefront of our lives.
If we are obsessed by God, nothing else can get into our lives— not concerns, nor tribulation, nor worries. And now we understand why our Lord so emphasized the sin of worrying. How can we dare to be so absolutely unbelieving when God totally surrounds us? To be obsessed by God is to have an effective barricade against all the assaults of the enemy.
“He himself shall dwell in prosperity…” (Psalm 25:13). God will cause us to “dwell in prosperity,” keeping us at ease, even in the midst of tribulation, misunderstanding, and slander, if our “life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). We rob ourselves of the miraculous, revealed truth of this abiding companionship with God. “God is our refuge…” (Psalm 46:1). Nothing can break through His shelter of protection.
A fanatic is one who entrenches himself in invincible ignorance. Baffled to Fight Better, 59 R