Think what the farmer would have missed
if he had given up!
Certainly we all have times when we want to throw in the towel. God says, "Don't do that!"
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:9-10 ESV
In his insightful commentary on this passage, Timothy George says:
The freedom of the Christian is a freedom of service in the moment of opportunity. The life of every person rushes toward its appointed end (Heb 9:27). The time for harvest is irretrievably set in the divine date book. Because this is true, consequently, therefore as we have opportunity (cf. “as opportunity offers,” NEB), let us faithfully fulfill the ministry God has given us to do.
What ministry of service has God give you? There is coming a time when you will reap so take advantage of your present time (opportunity) to do the good work God has put in front of you. In short, "Don't quit."
William Carey arrived in India in 1793 with a burden to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who had never heard the name. For seven years he proclaimed the gospel message faithfully week after week, month after month, with not a single native of India converted to Christ. Through years of struggle and doubt, Carey was often discouraged but never defeated. To his sisters back home in England he wrote:
I feel as a farmer does about his crop: sometimes I think the seed is springing, and thus I hope; a little blasts all, and my hopes are gone like a cloud. They were only weeds which appeared; or if a little corn sprung up, it quickly dies, being either chocked with weeds, or parched up by the sun of persecution. Yet I still hope in God, and will go forth in his strength, and make mention of his righteousness, even of his only.
On December 28, 1800, Carey baptized in the Ganges River his first Hindu convert, a carpenter named Krishna Pal. William Ward, who witnessed the dramatic deliverance of this man from the grip of paganism into the glorious truth of the gospel, wrote in his diary: “Ye gods of stone and clay, did ye not tremble, when in the Triune Name one soul shook you from his feet as dust?” This was the beginning of a mighty harvest of souls that God granted to Carey and his coworkers at the Serampore Mission in India.
We must not give up because God promises that our efforts are not futile -- no matter how futile they sometimes seem.
Let me share one last word from George:
One of the greatest frustrations in the Christian ministry, and a principal cause for “weariness in well doing,” is the inability to calculate the spiritual outcome of faithful labors in the work of the Lord. For this reason we must be cautious in putting too much stock in what we often call “visible results.” We serve a Sovereign God who has promised that his Word will not return void. The ultimate harvest is assured, but it will only come “at the proper time,” that is, in God’s own good time.
Where are you tempted to call it quits? Don't do that. God's made a promise to you and God always keeps his promises.
"The freedom of a Christian ..." from George, T. (1994). Vol. 30: Galatians. The New American Commentary (427). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
"William Carey arrived ..." from George, T. (1994). Vol. 30: Galatians. The New American Commentary (426). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
"One of the greatest frustrations..." from George, T. (1994). Vol. 30: Galatians. The New American Commentary (426).