Hello, Friend!

Have you ever been tempted to just quit? Of course your answer is yes, for discouragement pays a visit to all of us at one time or another. You begin to think, I don’t know if this was a good idea after all. Maybe I’m not equipped for this job. Maybe I don’t have what it takes to do what is in my heart. These kinds of emotions and thoughts are normal, but we are not called to just be normal. We have a supernatural calling from God to do supernatural things. Therefore, we must walk not by our feelings and thoughts, but by our faith.
If God has put it in your heart to do something, and you get discouraged along the way, you have two options: 1) You can press forward with all that is within you — past all your emotions screaming that you are going to fail — until you experience victory, or 2) you can listen to your negative thoughts and emotions, fall out of your race, and fail to complete the assignment God has given to you. That’s why I want to talk to you today about the attitude and commitment that is required in order to finish what God has put in your heart to do at all costs.
Let me bring this teaching to the level of a child. I remember when I was a teenager, I was learning to sew. Oh, I loved to sew! I made so many beautiful outfits for myself. I even considered myself to be quite a good designer. I would lie in bed at night and think to myself, What would that kind of sleeve look like on that dress? What if that sleeve was puffy — puffier than anyone else’s sleeve? I would just lie in bed and imagine.
But one day while I was sewing — I remember this day so well — I messed up and sewed a sleeve onto my dress going the wrong direction. I knew that in order for me to finish that garment, I would have to take out all those stitches by hand and then sew on the sleeve the correct way. So do you know what I did? I put that dress aside, and I never picked it up again. Instead, I started cutting out material for another outfit. At that time in my life, I just didn’t have what it took to finish what I started.
You may say, “But Denise, you were just a child! That is a normal response for a child in that kind of situation.” But here is my point: At that moment, there was a choice to make on my part, and I decided, This situation has gotten too hard, so I will quit.
This is a mindset that often starts in childhood and continues throughout a person’s adult life. But this mindset should not be in the people of God!

Let’s look at a few examples of people in the Bible who were given very specific and difficult assignments, but refused to quit.

  • What about Noah, who kept building that ark for 100 years?
  • Think of Moses as he led three million rebellious and complaining Israelites through the wilderness.
  • What about Esther? What if she had decided, “This job is too hard! I’m not laying down my life for my people”?
  • Finally, consider Jesus, who suffered all the way through the Crucifixion and then took our punishment upon Himself in hell. What if He had said, “This is getting too hard — I’m going to quit”? 

Sadly, this mindset of quitting when things get too hard has made its way into the Church. Too many Christians say, “It can’t be God’s will for me to suffer like this, so I am changing my plan.”
Consider these statistics:

  • The average pastor in the U.S. stays in one church for only three to five years.
  • The average marriage in the U.S. lasts only 8.2 years.
  • In the United States, only 79 percent of youth finish high school. 

Something has happened in our modern mindset that has caused us to become unwilling to pay the price and finish the job at hand.
Luke 14:28-30 and 33 has something very important to say along this line:
For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it — lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?… So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.
I have read this passage many times before, and I can honestly say that I really didn’t understand what Jesus meant. I wondered, Why did Jesus talk about finishing a building here? What did that have to do with giving up everything to be His disciple, as it says in verse 33? But after meditating on this passage for a long time, I began to understand that Jesus was talking about surrender and counting the cost. He was asking each one of us, “Are you really serious about what you want to do for God? Are you willing to pay the price that is required in order for you to accomplish this assignment?”
For example, let’s talk about marriage. It is too difficult for couples to build a healthy marriage these days because of their busy schedules and all the temptations that constantly surround them. As a result, a marriage can become anything but “days of Heaven on earth” as God intended (see Deuteronomy 11:21).
What about you? Are you willing to pay the price of loving, forgiving, serving, and correcting your own attitude in your relationship with your spouse? Are you willing to make the changes you need to make rather than focus on trying to change your husband or your wife? Are you willing to pay the price required to have a marriage that is truly like “days of Heaven on earth”? Is it worth it to you to die to your own selfishness so you can have this kind of relationship with your spouse? I know these are hard questions, but they are questions we all need to ask ourselves.
Now consider this subject of finishing what you start in light of your responsibility to raise your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Do you want to pay the price to the best of your ability to give your children all they need to live fruitful, godly lives? Are you willing to develop your patience and longsuffering — to cook, clean, teach, pray, correct, discipline, and believe in them until they grow to adulthood and are able to finish their course?
Your health is another area you need to consider in light of this principle. We must count the cost in this area as well. Our bodies are not our own. We are bought with a price — the precious blood of Jesus — and our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit Himself (see 1 Corinthians 6:19).
Ask yourself, Am I treating my body wisely so that it will carry me to a victorious finish on my life course, or am I mistreating my body in a way that will cause a weakened state of living in my older age?
A few years ago, I visited a room filled with people receiving dialysis and was shocked to find out that most of those receiving treatment were not elderly but between the ages of 30 and 40 years old. There were even children included in the group! Twenty years ago, diabetic kidney failure was diagnosed primarily for the elderly — but now there are thousands of diabetics who are children and youth! No doubt, some of these cases are hereditary or induced by a medical condition that’s not lifestyle-related. But diabetes in young people that’s caused by unhealthy living has become an epidemic!
How are you treating your temple? As you live each day, you must make choices, counting the cost and doing the right things for your body so that sickness cannot rob you of a healthy finish in life.
No matter what assignment God has given you, this is the question you must answer: Do you want to pay the price required in order to see it to the finish?
You see, it’s easy to start something. But it isn’t so much how a person starts that counts — it’s how he or she finishes. For example, it’s very easy for a man and a woman to get together and have a baby, but it is another thing altogether for those parents to raise that child into an adult who obeys God and is a blessing to society.
Here’s another question we must ask ourselves as we count the cost and determine whether or not we are going to finish our race: Am I willing to do whatever it takes to die to the laziness in my life that is stealing from the call of God and His purposes for me? Every effort we make to finish our race is worth whatever price we must pay. There will be a day of reward. Some reward we will receive on this earth. But there will also be an eternal reward waiting for us in Heaven that will last for eternity — and the brilliance, worth, and value of that reward will never fade.
Jesus said in Luke 14:33, “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” In other words, it’s going to take all that is within us to lay down our lives and finish the things that God has assigned us to do.
The most important ingredient to fulfilling our call in this life is our utter dependence on God. God will never quit. His mercy will never run out for us if we fear Him and humble ourselves before Him. For us to fully finish our course, we must depend wholly on the Lord, for we just don’t have what it takes to finish by ourselves.
I am writing this letter to you because the enemy is pressing on so many believers to try to stop them from finishing their course well. The Bible says that the devil wants to “wear out” the saints so they will become discouraged and quit (see Daniel 7:25). But as we call on the One who is our supreme Example and Intercessor, God will give us His strength and help us press on until we complete the assignment He has given us.
Any price we pay to finish our course is well worth it, for the reward is eternal.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

— 2 Corinthians 4:17,18

Friend, my encouragement to you today is this: Check your heart today and count the cost — the price you must pay in order to fulfill all that God is asking you to do. Make sure you’re committed to staying faithful to the end. Stay willing to go through any and every difficulty in order to finish your God-given assignment. Depend on the Holy Spirit to help you and to teach you how not to just start your “building” but to erect every wall and lay every brick until it’s complete! If you do these things, one day you will hear the words you have longed to hear from the Master: “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (see Matthew 25:21).

Thank you for spending this time with me. If you need prayer, please know we are here for you! I invite you to call our prayer team at 1.844.473.6637 or email prayer@deniserenner.org. Our heart is to stand in faith with you and help you reach a flourishing finish in your life!


We are moving forward together,

Denise Renner