This is the day and time when parents need to stand strong and not give up or become discouraged. One of the greatest tools the enemy uses is discouragement.
"This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go" (Josh. 1:9, NLT).
If we relax our hold on what we know through God's Word to be true and right, the enemy has an opportunity to gain a foothold in our lives. If we give up on our hope in the Lord and the promises He offers in His Word, the enemy has gained the upper hand.
I know of a sweet 80-year-old woman whose son is still in the homosexual lifestyle. She has stayed faithful for over 30 years, trusting her son will leave the lifestyle. She may not live to see it happen, but like Abraham, she is trusting faithfully. We may not see the answer to all of our prayers, but we must never stop believing and having faith.
We always can look to Jesus as our example. In Luke, He told his disciples a parable to the effect that they should always pray and never lose heart or give up (Luke 18:1).
The parable was about a widow who went before a judge and asked him to protect, defend and give her justice against her enemy. At first the judge didn't want to give her the time of day. Yet because she continued to persevere, he provided her with the assistance she needed. Jesus went on to ask His disciples a couple of questions: Will not our just God defend and protect and avenge His chosen ones? When the Son of Man comes, will He find persistence in faith on the earth? In other words, are we able to trust God to come through for us, even in our darkest times? Are we willing to stand and believe until we see the results?
In Ephesians 6:13, Paul encourages us: "Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm."
There are many great examples of men and women in the Bible who were given a vision by God and had to believe Him that it would come to pass, even against insurmountable odds. Abraham was told by God that He would make of him a great nation; that his descendants would be as many as the stars if they were able to be counted. God spoke to Abraham and said that in him, all the families and kindred of the earth would be blessed. This was a terrific promise, but Abraham did not see the start of its fulfillment until he was 100 years old. Nevertheless, the Bible tells us in Genesis 15:6 that he believed in, trusted in, relied on and remained steadfast in what God had spoken to him. This was why the promise of a great nation was fulfilled.
In the book of Exodus, Moses was given the task of leading the people of Israel out of bondage from Egypt. This particular challenge seemed daunting and impossible to both Moses and his brother, Aaron, who had been appointed to be his spokesman and helper. Indeed, they not only had to go up against the Israelites who complained about the process, but also against a very stubborn Pharaoh. But God was faithful to fulfill His promise to lead the Israelites into their promised land and the people were able to dance and sing before Him, "For He has triumphed gloriously; he has hurled both horse and rider into the sea" (Ex. 15:21b).
There will be times of discouragement. Let's not kid ourselves about that. It is hard to stand firm every day. But God and His Word will be your stability in the difficult times. The Holy Spirit is called our Comforter. He's the one called alongside to help us when all we can see with our natural eyes is a negative situation (see John 14:16).
Another thing that will be very helpful in your quest to remain faithful to the calling of God is to remember that He has never given up on you. No matter how distant you once were from Him, or how many times you have "blown it," He has continued to reach out His hand of grace and call you closer to Himself. The Father does not say, "This is too hard, it is taking too long and the people are too stubborn." We can be thankful for His patience and that His mercies are new every morning. That is why we should never give up on ourselves while we are becoming everything we were intended to be, and why we should not give up on others who are on their journey towards wholeness.
Determine these things in your mind:
- We will not give up when we do not see immediate results for what we are longing for in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones.
- We will not give up when we are feeling disappointed and/or tired of waiting for the good results.
- We will not give up under mounting pressure. This pressure can be from society, the media or simply from those around us who say we must be culturally relevant.
- We will not give up when every circumstance we observe looks bleak.
When you make the determination to follow the path God has called you to, never stop praying and standing for what is right. Never stop believing for the best in your loved ones. Never stop seeking God if you are struggling.
Remember the words of Galatians 6:9-10: "So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone— especially to those in the family of faith."
A Special Word to Parents in Ministry
Many people wonder what they should do when they have raised their child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and the child chooses to walk a path that is contrary to what they know is right. Parents in this situation who are also in the ministry may feel they are no longer qualified to continue with the calling God has given them. Though they attempt to reach out to others, they wonder about their ability to continue to do so when their own child has walked away from godly values. How do these parents continue to stand for truth when modern culture says they should just "live and let live"?
Others may become disheartened because though they have chosen to walk in righteousness, they have fallen into temptation. They may have bought into the lie that they are no longer good enough to earn God's love or that they have gone too far to turn back.
Each one of us has been given a call, a vision, to walk in right standing with God and also to be used by Him to let His light shine in a dark world. Even though we sometimes question whether we can continue to carry out the ministry God has called us to, we must not let Satan discourage us or cause us to let go of that calling.
Proverbs 29:18a (AMPC) says, "Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish." This is the point where we need to keep the vision we have been given before our eyes. In Habakkuk 2:2-3, we are encouraged to write the vision clearly and even if it tarries, we wait for it earnestly because it will surely come to fruition.
The darkness all around us often leaves us feeling like salmon swimming upstream trying to reach our intended destination. Miraculously, salmon do reach their destination and we, too, can see our vision realized. It is the supernatural power of God at work in us that causes this to happen. He uses ordinary people to accomplish the work that needs to be done on this earth. This has never been truer than in present times. It is exciting when we realize that we can bearers of light in a dark world. Isaiah 9:2 says, "The people who walk in darkness have seen a great Light; those who dwelt in the land of intense darkness and the shadow of death, upon them has the Light shined."
If you are a parent who has been called to minister to others, please continue to pursue that calling. Continue to persevere and believe God will deliver your children out of the homosexual lifestyle. God will use you regardless of your past, what your children are doing or any doubt the enemy may throw your way. Stand firm. God's Word promises that if we stay steadfast on the course, we will see victory. And all the glory will go to God!
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