I know that it’s hard right now. You don’t see a way forward. This wasn’t what you planned for. Nothing makes sense and you’re scared. Whatever you do, please don’t quit now! There are only two options when we are faced with any given situation. We either keep going or we give up. To give up is to not finish. You must remember, it is only a season.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 teaches us that there is a season for everything. We have beginnings and then endings. There are times we build and others we tear down. Sometimes we live in peace while others we live through war. New relationships are formed while others fade away. But each is only a season.

We read a drastic account in the differences of choice during one such tragic season for Jesus’ disciples. Jesus is preparing to offer up His life. After telling them, two of them have two very different reactions and subsequent endings. Both Peter and Judas initially blow it. Peter denies Jesus while Judas sells Him out for money. Each must make a decision in the midst of their immense guilt and grief.

Peter remembers the words Jesus spoke to Him and instead of quitting returns to continue on as His disciple. Judas on the other hand tries to somehow undo what he has done by returning the money. But we can’t go forward by going back. Even though he tried to undo himself of the guilt he made the decision to quit. He immediately went out and hung himself, making a permanent decision based off a temporary situation.

Both men were guilty and had a choice to make in their grief. One gave up and one just kept going. Judas could have done what Peter did. Forgiveness was always available. They always had the option to be made free from their sin and past mistakes. And friends, the same is true for you.

Judas’ end was tragic yet unnecessary. Peter however, preached on the day of Pentecost and turned the world upside down. Trouble and problems are inevitable. They knock on everyone’s door. The difference is knowing that through the price that Jesus paid for us, we have the gift of forgiveness and redemption. Jesus said in John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

We can hold onto His peace even in the midst of trouble. I’ll say it again. Hang on! Don’t quit! It won’t always be like this. The season will change. If you need to repent then do it. If you need to return then go back. Your yesterday doesn’t have to be the reason for your today. Don’t make a decision based off the pressure or fear you feel. Make your decision based off your purpose. “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

God is a good God. He isn’t just the best qualities of the people you know or think are “Godly.” He’s so much better! As your Father, he has promised to never to leave you or forsake you. You are welcome into His arms to receive his ¬†comfort, strength and peace.

I’m reminded of how the disciples and Jesus got into a boat at Jesus’ command. He told them to go to the other side. Though Jesus was with them, a great storm arose. They cried out in fear from panic even though Jesus was in the boat with them calmly sleeping. At their request, Jesus commanded the storm to stop and they made it safely to the other side. Your storm is temporary. And when you have Jesus in your boat He will safely take you into your tomorrow. Make up your mind today. God isn’t finished with you. So, tell yourself, “I’m not giving up.” The season will change and better days are ahead.

Jaime Luce