How to Keep Going When You Can’t Keep Going

Remember that any victory presupposes a struggle in your life.

You’re not stuck. If God has you in a place where your gifts are not fully utilized, or if you feel set aside in God’s grand plan, or if those around you have marginalized you, trivialized you, or flat-out rejected you, I understand how tough that is.

How to Keep Going When You Can’t Keep Going

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But you’re not stuck. God isn’t done with you. (If he were, you’d be dead.)

Here’s what perseverance looks like when you can’t keep going.

When You Can’t Keep Going

You may experience some days in life when you really, really don’t think you can hold out. Believe me, I’ve been there. Tough doesn’t begin to describe how it feels. Cruel is a better term.

Enduring a difficult situation seems impossible until you realize you only have to make it through the day. Then tomorrow, through that day. (Of course, this doesn’t apply to staying in an abusive situation.) Do this one day at a time, and you’ll wake up one day with the reality that you’ve endured a difficult situation for five, ten, even fifty years.

Some people call that ridiculous. Crazy. A waste of life.

God calls it perseverance.

What the REAL Victorious Christian Life Looks Like

The victorious Christian life is not a life without struggle or pain. (If so, Jesus missed it.)

Remember that victory presupposes a battle. 

What the REAL Victorious Christian Life Looks Like

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Peter said it this way:

If when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. —1 Pet. 2:20

And when you realize endurance finds favor with God, it can bring peace and joy to any troubled situation.

Our limitations only frustrate us when we forget that in weakness we glorify God. For example, a husband or wife will surrender massive amounts of time to marriage and parenting, understanding that God is in no way limited by this limitation. Other desires are limited, for sure, but that may be precisely why God wanted us to get married and have kids.

How else would we face our selfishness unless we had to?

The Hope of Our Limitations

God experiences no limitation by our limitations. He needs no sleep, has to earn no living, nor does he have any shortage of time or space. We, on the other hand, have all of these confines—including our battle with our sinful nature. 

The Hope of Our Limitations

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Even on our best days, we offer God only scraps to work with—only fish and loaves that he somehow multiplies to make adequate.

So keep going. One more day. You’re not stuck like you may think you are.

God is at work.

Question: What helps you keep going when you can’t keep going? To leave a comment, just click here.

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This post is adapted from Wayne’s book, Waiting on God: What to Do When God Does Nothing.

• What do you do when the life God has promised you looks nothing like the life he has given you?

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  • GALAXYKID MAX

    The motivations that keep me going are as follows…
    One, I can’t afford to stop here. I must keep going….no matter what.
    Killing myself is also no option as that is a one way ticket to Hell. Plus I have a low threshold for pain.
    Two, what if I give up and that day is the final day of my trials? What if that day is the day it all comes to an end? And the day the blessings flow? I’d end up giving it all away because of my lack of patience…
    Three….why give Satan the victory? He’s the reason a lot of bad stuff happens anyway…

    • These are some serious motivations. Although suicide is a foolish (and painful) option, no sin was an exception to Jesus dying on the cross. Although living is often very hard, our lives are the only time in eternity when we have the opportunity to glorify God in the face of struggle.

      • GALAXYKID MAX

        Omg for real?
        Okay…that one just hit me HARD.
        REAL HARD.
        IT MAKES ME LOATHE EVERY SINGLE TIME I COMPLAINED TO HIM!
        Now there’s a trigger button….how do I undo this? Yes I HATE trials but how do I undo the wrongs I’ve said?

        • Jesus undid them all on the cross. Just move forward with new determination to give thanks each day.

  • ARM BAR

    I can only say that’s when God strengthens me to keep going,because to be honest i can’t do that,and at the time of my difficult situations in the past He comforted me, but normally i didn’t realize that it was God Who did that,and right now i’m still in difficult time and i realize a little bit better than in the past that God is always with me,so the conclusion is that God always be the One Who help me through my difficult time,He can use many different ways Wayne,that is why we all must always stick with Him everyday.

    • You’re right. God’s grace gives us the strength to keep going when we don’t think we can—and the longer we live, the more we see God’s gracious hand in our lives.

  • Jeanelle Sims

    I once saw a book with this title “God works the night shift” . It reminded me of the verse in Exodus 14:21, God worked all night holding back the strong east wind to allow His children to cross over on dry land, , not muddy land. Even when I am asleep God is working on my muddy land.

    • Yes, He is, Jeanelle! Our Lord never sleeps or slumbers, thankfully (Ps. 121:4). He provides for His beloved even in their sleep (Ps. 127:2).

  • Suzette

    Even before I gave my life to the Lord I knew I would never commit suicide. Seeing my dad in heaven kept me going. Now after I gave my life to serving the Lord, God gives me strength. Despite having ups and downs with my servitude the joy I feel when I pick up a bible, attend church, attend bible studies, get into the word and see the blessings God gives me keeps me going. That love and joy I feel. God is wonderful.

    • Yes, Suzette, I agree. Even with the worst life hands us, God’s grace is still far beyond all comparison in the blessings He provides in helping others see Jesus Christ. Thank you for sharing your valuable perspective.

  • Michelle thick

    It seems through all my life and struggles. When I was at a point to give up. God would always put someone or something in my life to help me get through it. It’s been a long journey and now that I think of the struggles and how things turned out. Wow I hope i’m really close now. I’m ready for God’s blessings. I’m ready for goodness and greatness.😀

  • Stephen White

    I don’t know what keeps me going sometimes.
    I struggle daily and life seems to be getting harder and more harsher each day.
    It seems like people have no respect for life, our country, each other , and are just caring more about what they want above all other things.

    I moved to Florida several years ago and it seems like half the people here are homeless or on drugs , and most probably both. It is a very scary situation. I don’t know if it that way in the whole country, but I am betting it is getting worse everywhere.

    Only thing I can rely on is people a like you Wayne and faith. I try to help others in need and seems l get hurt or used every time I attempt to help others.

    So I don’t know what to do .

    • Sometimes, Stephen, it helps me to remember that my whole life isn’t measured by the mere 80+ years here on earth. This is only the beginning. The justice, hope, love, and joy I’m longing for are actually a yearning for the resurrection—which continues my life into eternity with Jesus ruling the world. That’s our hope. This present life is a ministry to others.

      • Stephen White

        Thanks for your encouragement Wayne. You are a wise man that God has used to help others, way beyond your years on this earth.
        God Bless your ministry!!

        • You’re welcome, Stephen. God bless you. (And thanks!)

  • Stella Mhlanga

    I know that I am holding on to God’s promises even though it seems as if Iam in an endless tunnel. Sometimes I dont even know how to get me and my family out of the situation we are in. No place to call home, with not even a bed to sleep on but I thank God I still have a job and my family healthy and hopeful that someday we will finally see the light.
    I used to ask even Pastors that how is it possible that a family suffers for more than 20 years and no one seemed to have an answer. The answer is obviously in the scriptures.
    I will continue standing in His word but I dont have any strength left, sometimes I just want to give up but when I think of when I was 10 years old and wanted to stab myself to death and I just heard a voice telling me not to kill myself even though I was a Muslim at that time, I know my redeemer lives.
    And when I look at my children, I just glorify God. He is forever faithful.

    • You’re right, Stella. He is forever faithful, and only eternity will answer many of our unanswerable questions now. I admire your perspective in your situation.

  • Carole Russell

    Praying for you Stella, Stephen and Michelle….”streams in the desert and floods upon the dry ground”…many blessings from on high… some days and for times we feel like what are we here for…but the Lord shows up to encourage, give us strength,…through His Word, another person, someone’s blog(like this one or others) or His provision, supernaturally or through someone. He will use you to help and encourage someone else who’s going through some things you have gone through.

    • Thanks for this, Carole. You may need to respond to each of their comments individually for them to see your gracious words.