5 Excuses for Surrender

Except for surrendering to Jesus. It is bad to give up. We don’t quit in the middle of things. Whether it’s on a battlefield, in the workplace, or in a relationship, it is embarrassing to surrender. Yet, we see it every day; people giving up on their faith and buying into Satan’s lies. Why? I can think of at least five excuses we give when we surrender – not reasons; excuses.

Fear Causes Surrender

There’s plenty to be afraid of in life. If you live in a major American city, you may be afraid to go out at night. You would never think of going for a late-night walk because crime is rampant. Many are afraid of the terrible virus sweeping southeast Asia. They wear surgical masks to try and impede the spread of the germs. Fear is tiring and just makes you want to give up.

Some people give up on Jesus because they are afraid of what others think of them. No one wants to be a radical Bible-thumping Christian, right? Jesus tells us not to fear (Matthew 10:31). Luke has Jesus telling us not to fear the world because the Father has given us the kingdom (Luke 12:32)! We only fear the Lord for his might and glory is beyond comprehension.

Fatigue Causes Surrender

Do you ever get tired? Are the constant battles enough to make you want to give up?  Do you want to surrender? I do. We think that if we stop fighting all will suddenly get easier. Nope. No way. There is nothing special about our struggles and our wearied lives. Consider David’s words in Psalm 69:3, “I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.” Have you been there? Me too.

We must never grow tired of doing good. We must wage the good fight (2 Timothy 4:7)! Paul writes: And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). Remember, do good and await the “times of refreshing” from the Lord (Acts 3:20).

Isolation Causes Surrender

It may be that our problems seem unique. Because some battles are so intimate and private, we keep them secret. We will not seek help because we are ashamed. Then we are locked into a private narrative of secrecy and seclusion.   The old spiritual intoned, “Nobody knows the trouble I have seen. Nobody knows but Jesus.” That’s a fine sentiment but it’s not really true. Our challenges and temptations are all plucked from the same worldly garden.

Paul said:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Notice two keys. Your struggles are common, and God will make an escape. Of course, it’s up to us to take the escape but we are not alone.

Laziness Causes Surrender

I know this one well. It is hard to fight the world constantly. We want to take it easy and have a little fun. And, sin is fun (Hebrews 11:25).

Approach this from another angle: Have you ever known a real winner who is lazy? Victorious warriors are never lazy. Corner-office-executives are never lazy. Olympic tier athletes are never lazy. Faithful, serving Christians are never lazy either.

As Paul drew near to death, he said, For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:6, 7). Paul was surely weary. Scars marked his abused body. But he could not declare that he had fought a good fight and finished the race if he had been lazy. There is no place for laziness in the Christian’s life.

Hopelessness Causes Surrender

Imagine you are in combat. Enemies surround you. No relief is possible. All hope is gone. Or is it? General Anthony McAuliffe faced that situation near Bastogne, Belgium in 1944. His men, surrounded by Germans, had received a 2-page letter demanding their surrender. McAuliffe famously replied “N U T S !” Three days later, reinforcements arrived and the siege of Bastogne was broken. Hopelessness turned to victory.

Paul said it this way:

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you” (2 Corinthians 4:8-12).

Paul never surrendered, nor should we. Your brothers and sisters will walk with you through your struggles; just do not give up!

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