“Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”
Jeremiah came to a point in his ministry when he was tired and fed up with everything going on around him. Anyone who has been in the ministry has been where Jeremiah was. He got so fed up with what was happening that he decided he was going to quit. He said that he was not going to “make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name.” Jeremiah was done with the ministry and with serving the LORD. However, something kept him from quitting. What kept him from quitting is the same thing that will keep you from quitting during your time of discouragement.
First, God’s Word kept him from quitting. He said that God’s Word was like “a burning fire shut up” in his bones. He couldn’t quit because God’s Word kept the fire burning. If you will become a student of God’s Word, you will find that His Word will be the fire that keeps you going. Every time you want to quit, if you are regularly spending time with God in His Word, you will not be able to quit because His Word will be burning inside. You are sure to quit and never get back up if you are not regularly spending time in God’s Word. If the only reason you spend time in God’s Word is to keep you from quitting, that then will be a great reason to be faithful to reading the Scriptures.
Second, what was going on around Jeremiah is what kept him from quitting. Verse 10 says, “For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side.” My friend, if you look around and see what is happening in your country, that should stir you to keep going for the LORD. When you see God’s name being defamed, that in and of itself should be the motivator to keep you going. When you see your nation pushing God out, it should stir you to get up and keep going. The plight of your nation should be enough of a motivator to keep serving the LORD when you want to quit.
Third, what those who hated Jeremiah would say is what kept him from quitting. Verse 10 continues by saying, “All my familiars watched for my halting…” You may think this is a selfish motive, but what will all those who have criticized you say if you quit? All the sermons you preached and the lessons you taught will become fodder for the enemy if you quit. All the battles you withstood and the criticisms you repelled will become truth if you quit. You shouldn’t quit because of what others will say about you. Your enemies would love to see you quit because it will justify what they have said about you. If the only reason you don’t quit is to disprove the enemies’ attack, then let that become the reason to keep going.
Fourth, God’s presence is what kept Jeremiah going. Verse 11 says, “But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one…” Christian, the greatest reason you can’t quit is because the LORD is with you. What are you going to do, walk away from the One Who is with you day in and day out? You shouldn’t quit because the LORD’s presence is with you in those times of weariness and discouragement.
My friend, whatever your reason for quitting may be, let me encourage you not to quit. Let these four reasons be the motivating factors to keep you going when you want to quit.