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Why We Should Never Give Up - How to find our calling

Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. - Psalm 126:5 (NLT)

Do you ever feel like you are gaining nothing from all the hard work you are putting in? Would you rather just give up?

You're not alone.

I recently became a member of a Facebook group for female entrepreneurs. The point of the group is to discuss business related topics and glean insight from other female business owners. About a week ago, I was feeling especially defeated with my job. I decided to post something in the businesswoman group. I asked the women what they did when they see no reward from the hard work they put into their work. I asked them to share some things of a time they felt successful, and what they did to feel that way.

I got a lot of answers - mostly of women feeling exactly the same way I did. They put so much work in, but never felt any success.

This made me question so many things which I would like to explore today:

Firstly, what defines success, and why don't we feel successful?

Secondly, does God really want us to have success?

Lastly, why should we keep going when we feel unsuccessful?

What is Success and Why Don't We Feel Successful?

I think firstly, we need to redefine our idea of success. Often, we feel successful when we can physically see the reward. For example, when we see how much muscle we gained, how much money we made, or how many new customers we have, we feel success in our accomplishments because of the tangible results.

But what about the successes we can't see the results of? We often ignore those as insignificant. But sometimes successes that don't produce tangible results are some of the best:

1 Timothy 4:8 (NLT): "Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come."

We can see physical training. We see the results of it, the muscles we gain, or the weight change on the bathroom scale. But Paul talks about something better than physical training - the highest form of success - godliness. Though godliness is not something we can see, smell, or touch, godliness is actually the highest form of success because it is the only earthy success we can have that carries on into the next life with Jesus!

So, we must redefine our idea of success. Success doesn't always produce tangible results. Sometimes, the successes we can't see are the most important of all.

Does God want us to have success?

The simple answer is yes.

Never Give Up

In fact, God promises us success if we work hard and stay in line with Him. The problem is, God's definition of success is often different than ours. We like to believe we are entitled to success the way we want it. But sometimes, God has a different plan because He knows His plan is way better for us! For example, Moses didn't want to be the leader of Israel. He was more than happy to stay a shepherd. Perhaps he even enjoyed his shepherding job! But God called him to a completely different career - one that Moses truly didn't believe he was good for and initially didn't want. But God knew Moses's incredible potential as a leader, and how blessed and fulfilled Moses would be in the end.

Same goes for Joseph. Joseph was sold as a slave. In no way, shape, or form, could anyone consider a life of slavery as a success... but God knew exactly what Joseph needed to become a successful leader who would some day save the entire ancient world from starvation. Joseph's experience as a slave was just one of the ways God grew Joseph to become one of the most wise and productive leaders in the entire Old Testament.

God doesn't always work the way we expect Him to.

Oftentimes, we believe that God doesn't know what He's doing if things aren't going exactly the way we want them to. But it's quite the opposite: We don't know the wonderful things God is doing and what He has in store for us! God has a plan and calling for us, and He wants us to be successful in that plan and calling. But sometimes the road to that calling is one of difficulty, adversity, and hard work on our part.

There are so many verses in the Bible about how God rewards hard work:

Commit your works to the Lord [submit and trust them to Him], and your plans will succeed [if you respond to His will and guidance]. - Proverbs 16:3 (AMP)

If we continue on the path God gives us, He will reward our hard work, and we will have shouts of joy in the end if we don't give up!

Why Should We Keep Going When We Feel Unsuccessful?

Human nature says to stop if something we are doing isn't working. The problem is, sometimes we need to put in the hard work to see the results. This could take months, or more likely, years of hard work. However, we will be rewarded in the end for our patience, hard work, and endurance:

Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. - Psalm 126:5 (NLT)

When I worked at the factory, I wondered why I was there. I hated it. I wanted to be out of that job so badly. I applied to job after job, but no one called me back for an interview. I was stuck at a job I hated for over a year. I wanted to give up, but I knew I shouldn't. In the end, God moved me from that horrible job and put me in the best career I could ever ask for.

You see, God sometimes does that. He shuts some doors and opens other doors you wouldn't expect. Sometimes, God opens no doors and you are stuck in the waiting room. Sometimes the waiting room is hot and uncomfortable, has no chairs or air conditioning, and is directly next to 2,000 degree furnaces in the middle of the hottest summer you can imagine (literally my factory job.) But in the end, God eventually opens another door to the best and most fulfilling calling that you could ever imagine you could be a part of. As long as you continue to move through the doors He opens, or sit in the waiting room when He tells you to wait, He will lead you to your ultimate purpose and calling.

So rather than giving up when something isn't going the way we think it should, we should continue to press on in the work God has put us in until He moves us. It will be worth it in the end.

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