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Editor’s journey


When you feel like quitting

SPRINGFIELD, MO. — About 18 years ago I contemplated surrendering my minister’s license to accept an opportunity in book publishing. I met with District Superintendent William O. Vickery to discuss the matter.

“Hal,” he said, “I sense God has a plan for your life that you don’t see. Let me encourage you to be patient and remain faithful and give God an opportunity to open doors.”

Waiting for God to open doors and remove obstacles requires more discipline than taking matters into our own hands. Quitting comes naturally; perseverance often demands immense faith and courage.

Sooner or later, everyone wants to quit in the face of opposition — when an employer makes unrealistic demands, a pastor takes a stand with which you disagree, or a friend or spouse treats you unfairly. But we need to recognize that God uses hardships to build spiritual character and endurance.

Romans 5:3,4 says, “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (NIV).

James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

Making a transition may be God’s plan, but pausing to ask these questions can confirm that:

1. Will your decision to quit violate God’s Word?

2. Will you leave discord and resentment in your wake?

3. Would you still quit if an obstacle or source of frustration were removed?

4. Have you prayed daily that the issues of concern would be resolved?

5. Have you exhausted all other options?

6. Are you, your family members and confidants at peace with your decision?

7. Is your motive for quitting rooted in selfishness or selflessness?

8. Have you asked God if this is a trial He wants you to endure?

9. What good and what harm will occur if you persevere?

10. Have you completed the task God set before you?

When our future is uncertain and the path isn’t clear, we’re tempted to turn back. But in these moments of uncertainty God faithfully whispers to our hearts, “Press on. You can make it. Just follow Me.”

— Hal Donaldson

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