Why God Will Absolutely Never Give Up on You

Discovering the joy of being confined with God.

Imagine with me you have a child—and only one. The delivery had complications that threatened his life, but the boy lived. So you name your son Nathaniel—“given of God.”

Why God Will Absolutely Never Give Up on You

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

While recovering at home, you begin the ritual every three hours of feeding little Nathaniel and rocking him while he screams through fits of colic. Without missing one feeding, or letting one diaper go unchanged, or any needs unmet, you never give up because you know your child would literally die without your care.

As Nathaniel grows, you teach him to walk, you change the soiled sheets, and you work hard to buy new clothes he’ll quickly outgrow. Every new stage presents a new set of sacrifices, but you never give up because you love Nathaniel.

The day he drives off to college represents a milestone in your parenting, and you stand proud of what God has made of Nathaniel.

You have no idea that things are about to change.

Months pass and he comes home for Christmas break. When you ask him if he’ll help you with some holiday preparations, he looks you straight in the eye and says: “Listen. Who are you to tell me what to do? I’m my own person now!”

Then he turns on his heels, slams the door, and peels out of the driveway.

The Pain of Ingratitude

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Later that evening you blow dust off an old photo album. You remember all the feedings, the diapers, the sheets, the countless hours of lost sleep, and the millions of times you chose you would never give up so Nathaniel’s needs would get met.

Now, ironically, he sees you as his biggest problem.

The Pain of Ingratitude

Here we catch but a glimmer of the pain God feels toward His wayward children whom He desperately loves. With a frog in His anthropomorphic throat, God recalled:

‘When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.’ And in spite of all God did for His children, ‘They kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning incense to idols.’ —Hosea 11:1-2

They returned to the very things from which God had delivered them.

In a Rolling Stone Magazine interview, the actor Brad Pitt referred to one subject repeatedly: religion. “I would call it oppression,” he said, “because it stifles any kind of personal individual freedom.” He described the Prodigal Son parable of Luke 15 this way:

This is a story which says if you go out and try to find your own voice and find what works for you and what makes sense for you, then you are going to be destroyed and you will be humbled and you will not be alive again until you come home to the father’s ways. —Brad Pitt

Where Spiritual Independence Stumbles

I read about an angry man who bolted from a discussion group, slamming the door after him. One person tried to relieve the tension by saying: “Well, he’s gone.”

“No, he isn’t,” the hostess replied. “He just walked into my closet!”

I find we discover the same problem when we run from God’s presence:

  • We remain confined to ourselves.
  • We learn that apart from Him is not the freedom we thought it would be.
  • We would give all we have and more to be once again within the constraints of God.

The Prodigal Son is not a story of a father waiting to clobber his wayward son, but it tells of a father who will never give up on his wandering child. Submission to Jesus Christ results in joy—not oppression. Rather than remaining confined to myself in “freedom,” I choose to be connected to Jesus. For with Him comes forgiveness of sin, true peace of mind, eternal purpose—and eternal life.

Even though God’s children often ignore God’s love, the Lord affirms He will never give up on them:

How can I give you up, O Ephraim? . . . My heart is turned over within Me, all My compassions are kindled. . .  For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath. —Hosea 11:8-9

An Invitation Worth Considering

If you have lived your life like our Nathaniel, or if you, God’s son or daughter by faith in Jesus, have wandered into your closet of rebellion, I urge you to accept the invitation to return to your heavenly Father who loves you. He waits with open arms.

God will never give up on you.

Question: Why do you think we find God so confining? To leave a comment, just click here.

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  • Carrie Honeycutt

    Thank you so much for this article. It really touched my heart and made me think. There are times in life where we don’t even realize we are telling God that we don’t need Him, but are actions do. It is so comforting to know that He is always willing and waiting to take us back.

    • You’re welcome, Carrie. Indeed, His grace is magnificent. All sins paid on the cross—even those we’ve yet to commit. God bless.

  • Paul Ackerman

    I believe many people believe
    God is confining because they
    want to lead their lives without
    moral guidelines. They want
    to lead the life Margaret Sanger
    believed in: do what feels good.
    Without a moral compass this
    country and this world will
    not exist. God is our moral
    Paul Ackerman

  • Marion C. Marsh

    Religion can be extremely confining God is not . God’s love is freedom joy and boundless bliss. Most religions are based on old dogma set up from the pharisees and Sadducees, Whose practices were reproached by Jesus.
    Mr. Pitt was parroting the interpretation of the prodigal son story that has been passed on from generation to generation. The bigger lesson of that story is not of the prodigal son out of the angry disgruntled brother. The biggest lesson by far in the story is about the fathers unconditional love. When the prodigal son asks for forgiveness it reads the father turns and talks to the servants and asks them to go get the fatted cow and the ring . The father in this story is representative of our Father which art in Heaven. Who’s eyes are too pure to behold evil in any of his children.
    It would be who’ve people to understand the spiritual inspiration of the Bible and stop taking it literally. It would also be wonderful if religions would stop teaching fear and teach the Oneness of our relationship with our Father Mother God.
    Thank you Wayne I look forward to your articles.

    • You’re welcome, Marion—and thanks for your thoughtful words. I agree with you that religion is a poor way to live. Rules over relationship is a recipe for frustration and failure. I do believe there’s value in reading your words as you’ve written them—for you mean exactly what you’ve said by what you’ve written. I don’t look for some hidden meaning. Personally, I take the Bible the same way. Certainly we can never fully understand the depths of ALL God meant in His Word—for it is an inexhaustible text—but taking Him at His word is an important place to begin. Otherwise, we’re all just guessing. Thanks again—and God bless.

  • leantoc

    I have 3 daughters who deny the Messiah and would agree with Mr. Pitt.

    So Sad…….but I must remember 2 Corinthians 4:3. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

    This is painful when it involves your children but we must give it all to the Father. I have so many friends whose children are perishing just like mine. They don’t know the “abundant Life” that Jesus gives or the “joy unspeakable, full of glory” that Peter mentions in 1 Peter 1: 8.

    But we continue to pray and give it all to the Father………….and Wayne…….that is all we can do, my friend!

    • I will join you in your prayers for your daughters’ salvation. I’m also asking the Father that His unconditional and gracious love will flow through you, my friend. Never give up! It’s not over till it’s over.

  • loretta

    thank you stiles…..been really blessed….your blog has awokened a love for God that was dying….. i think religion and morality is acually very confining and that is why what we do as christians is have a relationship with the father……but i need a clear understanging of something…..in every relationship, there are rules….so how does a christian draw the line between religion and relationship…..

    • You’re welcome, Loretta. You ask a great question. The difference between religion and relationship is huge. All other religions say that we get to God (or their version of “God”) by doing good deeds; in other words, we earn His approval. This is religion: man’s attempt to get to God. The Bible has a different message altogether. Scripture says we we cannot earn God’s favor by good deeds, because we also have sin. No amount of good deeds can erase our sins. The basis of our relationship with God is His grace, fully expressed in His Son Jesus dying for our sins (Rom. 5:8). Our good works come then, as our expression of gratitude for the forgiveness God has given us– not from an attempt to earn His forgiveness. You might enjoy reading this post or listening to this podcast for a fuller explanation. Thanks.

      • loretta

        Thanks alot stiles………………

  • Jocelyn Collins

    I think one of the reasons we find God so confining is because of strict, legalistic churches. I grew up in one, and they had a huge set of strict rules. To this day, I have cousins who will hardly talk to me because they consider us back sliders for not going to their church anymore. I haven’t gone there for 15 years, and I still struggle with feelings that I’m not good enough for salvation or that I haven’t been saved because I haven’t had the Holy Ghost experience they talk about having with speaking in tongues, even though I have repented, been baptized, and am trying to live for God.

    • In spite of what people say, we have to decide that we will live before an audience of One – One only. It’s tough to do. But it is essential. May God give you strength as you serve Him alone! And may He give you strength to love others in spite of how they treat you.