Question: "Will God ever give up on me?"


We tend to give up on people who repeatedly disappoint us. That is, after a certain number of letdowns, we stop trying to improve that person’s condition. We’ve tried everything—we’ve advised, encouraged, rebuked, begged, pressured, assisted, and more. All we get in return are empty promises and repeated disappointment. We can only take so much, and we give up.

Would God ever give up on you the same way? Would He ever stop working in your life and stop trying to improve the condition of your soul? There are various reasons why people might think He would, but there is a biblical response to each:

“God will give up on me because I’ve sinned too much.” But Scripture says, “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more” (Romans 5:20). No one can out-sin God’s grace.

“God will give up on me because I keep repeating the same sin.” Jesus taught us to forgive each other “not up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22, NKJV). God holds Himself to at least that same standard.

“God will give up on me because I’m not worth rescuing.” Your worthiness has nothing to do with your salvation. You are forgiven on the basis of Christ’s worthiness alone. He is the Holy One who died and shed His blood; He is the one who “purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

“God will give up on me because I’m a failure.” “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23); i.e., we are all equally failures before God. In Christ, we are made victors: “Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).

“God will give up on me because I keep taxing His patience.” Be glad for this verse: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise. . . . Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

“God will give up on me because, if I were God, I would give up on me.” It’s a good thing you’re not God! “God is not . . . a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19). The Bible repeatedly emphasizes God’s faithfulness: “May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23b–24).

You can have added confidence that God will not give up on you because of the examples of God’s faithfulness in history:

When Adam and Eve sinned, God did not “give up” on them; He came looking for them. They hid, but God sought: “But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’” (Genesis 3:9).

When Israel followed after idols and forsook the Lord, the nation was delivered into captivity. But God did not “give up” on them; He promised them continued love and eventual renewal:
“Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me.’
‘Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands’” (Isaiah 49:14–16a).

When Peter denied Jesus on the night of the Lord’s arrest, God did not “give up” on him; in fact, Jesus had promised Peter a restoration before Peter even committed the sin: “When you have turned back,” Jesus said, “strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32). God wasn’t done with Peter yet.

When the world seemed hopelessly, irretrievably lost, God did not “give up” on us; He sent the Savior: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

God created you and loves you very much. He wants to have a vibrant relationship with you, and Jesus’ mission proves it. Jesus said, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). In the parable of the lost sheep, the shepherd seeks the lost animal “until he finds it” (Luke 15:4). In the parable of the lost coin, the woman sweeps the house “until she finds it” (Luke 15:8). There’s no resignation in those parables. No giving up. The lost must be found.

This is certainly good news! God has gone to great lengths to save you from sin and death, and He did so “while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8). God will not “give up” on anyone, you included.

What about those who resist the Holy Spirit’s conviction, refuse to heed the Word of God, decline to give God thanks, and stubbornly pursue a sinful path? Romans 1:18–32 is a sobering passage on the consequences of turning one’s back on God and refusing to repent. God gives the rebellious sinner over to three things:

• “to sexual impurity” (verse 24)
• “to shameful lusts” (verse 26)
• “to a depraved mind” (verse 28)

As the wicked desert God, God in turn deserts them, no longer giving them divine direction or restraint, but allowing them to corrupt themselves as they wish. This abandonment of God, this being given over to one’s own desires, is an awful judgment—and not one that will befall the child of God.

If you are a child of God, there is no way that God will give up on you. You have this promise: “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6).