When the Chase Isn’t Worth It: Realizing it’s Time to Give Up on God

The course of my life is in Your power; deliver me from the power of my enemies and from my persecutors.

Psalm 31:15

Have you ever found yourself believing in God, yet giving up on Him? Your faith is strong. You believe He exists. You believe He is powerful. You believe your life is in His hands.

But you’ve asked and you’ve asked and you’ve asked.

You’ve begged and you’ve begged and you’ve begged.

But all you see is injustice. You see it or you experience it. You ask and beg God to do something about it… to take care of it. And He does nothing.

You don’t question that He can do something. You just give up on hoping that He will. And you don’t understand why He isn’t.

At what point can we reasonably say, “Look, God. I’ve given you a chance. I tried to do things your way. I tried to obey you. I tried to trust you. I tried… and your way isn’t working. Nothing is changing. Nothing is getting better.”

You believe He can help you, but you’ve given up believing that He will help you.

Whether we are willing to admit it out loud or not, many of us have found ourselves saying…

“I’m done with You, God. Chasing after You and Your way just isn’t worth it.”

Especially when injustice is involved.

Day after day we see injustice or we experience injustice. We shake our heads and ask ourselves,

Why doesn’t God do something?

If anyone had the right to say, “God, following after you isn’t worth it anymore.” It would be a guy named David.

David had followed God for years. He stood up for God. He lived for God. He wrote songs about God. God had even chosen David to be anointed to take the place of the first king of Israel, and David willingly accepted.

But the years that followed David’s anointing were worse than miserable. You would think that after his wildly successful defeat of Israel’s worst enemy, Goliath, that all of Israel would be enamored with David. Well, they were. Everyone, except for the King of Israel, Saul. King Saul was consumed with jealousy.

King Saul’s jealousy led him to relentlessly chase after David in an effort to murder him. After years of running, David had no idea when the threat on his life would end… if ever. He lost his wife, he lost his home, and he lost his safety.

But in the middle of the injustice…(because in every single way, David was the victim)… there was something David didn’t do: He never stopped chasing after God.

If anyone could say, “Your way didn’t work, God. I’m done.” It would be David. For years he asked God to rescue him, and for YEARS he ran. When is enough, enough? When is it time to give up on God?

In my study of David’s personal writings during this period of horrible injustice in his life, I recognized a pattern. A pattern that I call, “something better than coping skills.” David was the ultimate victim, with no relief in sight. I noticed a pattern in the middle of his victim status, that, if applied to our lives during periods of injustice, could be life-changing and life-giving even when our circumstances don’t change.

If you study David’s writings in the Psalms, this is the life-giving and life-changing pattern you will find:

Face the Realities

David never sugar-coated his life circumstances when speaking with others or speaking with God. He was honest. He was realistic. He didn’t live in a make-believe-world or try to find some kind of “happy place,” or pretend that the junk in his life didn’t exist. He recognized the reality. Reality that the king of his people and his country wanted to kill him. The reality that his wife had been taken from him. The reality that as soon as he trusted someone, they turned on him. The reality that rumors, lies, and gossip were being spread about him. David had a lot of really tough realities to face. And he faced them honestly.

I am afflicted all day long and punished every morning.

Psalm 73:14

Not only did he face his circumstances honestly, but he was also honest about the reality of his feelings. He didn’t try to pretend that he wasn’t afraid, hopeless, weak, tired, or in despair. He recognized the realities of his circumstances as well as the realities of his feelings. He was honest with himself about how he felt and he was honest with God.

Insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. I waited for sympathy, but there was none; for comforters, but found no one.

Psalm 69:20

Consider the Possibilities

David was realistic about the realities, but he also considered where those realities could lead. The harsh realities in his life could lead to losing his reputation, his opportunities, his family, his friends, and even his life. Everything was at stake and there were a lot of things that could happen as a result of the nasty hand he was being dealt.

But even though David was realistic about the possibilities, he did not let his thoughts stay there (as many of us do). When things are rough and things aren’t right, we can tend to live in the land of possibilities. This leads to living in the land of speculation, which then leads to a great deal of anxiety, stress, fear, and panic. Instead of letting the possibilities lead to excessive speculation, David made a turn.

This is the life-changing and life-altering turn you and I can make when life tells us that chasing after God isn’t worth it and that it is time to give up on God……

Cling to the Certainties

After facing the realities and considering the possibilities, David chose to cling to the certainties.

But what is certain when you are the victim? What is for sure when there is injustice?

This is I know: God is for me.

Psalm 56:9

David chose to cling to who He knew God was – God’s character. He chose to remind himself and speak about who He knew God to be, even when he couldn’t see God’s hand at work. He clung to how God had shown Himself faithful in the past and he applied that to his present and future.

David also chose to cling to who he, himself could be. David could not control his circumstances, but David could control what he chose to think about, do, say, sing, and focus on. You will see a lot of “I will…” statements as you read through the Psalms.

When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

Psalm 56:4

My heart says this about You, ‘You are to seek My face.’ LORD, I will seek Your face.

Instead of speculating, David chose to keep chasing after God, clinging to who He knew God to be and clinging to his choice to praise, thank, and seek God above all else.

This had to have been a challenge.

How many more years would David have to ask and ask and ask only to wait, and wait and wait? It’s not like God was giving him a time-table. It’s not like God was saying “Just hold on another year, David, and I will make all things right. I will vindicate you, eventually, David. Hang on one more year.”

David literally did not know how long it would take for him to see justice in his life.

But he clung to the certainty that justice would, indeed, come.

I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.

Psalm 27:13

Cling to the certainty that justice will come, my friend. And while you cling to the certainties of who God is and who you will choose to be…

ASK. Don’t quit asking him and looking to Him to help you. Don’t believe the lie that there is somehow a better way than God’s way out there. It’s never happened. In the course of all history, I promise you, no one was ever sorry at that end of the story, that they didn’t give up on God.

Lord, don’t let me be disgraced when I call on You.

Psalm 31:17

While you ask, WAIT. You may have to wait for a very, very long time. It may take years. It may take a lifetime. It may actually take until the end of all time for you to see complete justice and vindication actually served. Yes, God may ask you to wait until the end of all time. But He promises you… justice is coming.

I wait for Yahweh. I wait and put my hope in His word.

Psalm 130:5

Waiting requires TRUST. Yes, waiting under this type of circumstance demands supernatural trust. But if you surround yourself with the knowledge of those who have trusted Him in worse circumstances than yours, longer than your circumstances have lasted… you will find, He is faithful. He’s been faithful. He will always be faithful.

You will never be sorry that you didn’t give up on Him.

He’s worth it.

Those who look to Him are radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed.

Psalm 34:5

Suggested Reading: Psalm 7, 27, 31, 34, 52, 56, 120, 140, 141, 142; 1 Samuel 25-31; Psalm 17, 35, 73, 54, 63, 18; 1 Chronicles 10; Psalm 121, 123, 124, 125, 128, 129, and 130.

2 Comments

    1. Tholin, you might be ready to give up on God, but He isn’t ready to give up on you. I am praying that He will open your eyes to all of the ways He is trying to get your attention. He created you, He loves you, and He has a purpose for you here in this world.

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