If you’re going through hell, what should you do? KEEP ON GOING. There’s a country song most of us know that says:
If you’re goin’ through hell, keep on going
Don’t slow down, if you’re scared don’t show it
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there
But, what do we often do? We stop. We slow down. We look back. We long for what used to be and we want to go back to easier times. Then, we’re in trouble. Why? Because the devil knows we’re there! Oh how he can get in your head and make you question if you really want to keep going.
In the Navy, there’s a elite special force known as the Navy SEALs. They are the toughest of the tough and the best of the best. In training, they go through what is known as Hell Week. Hell Week is 5 1/2 days of cold, wet, brutally difficult training on a total of 4 hours of sleep. Yes, it’s a test of physical strength and ability, but above all else, it’s a test of determination and desire. Only 25% of the SEAL candidates make it through Hell Week, the toughest training in the US Military.
We all go through our own form of Hell Week, don’t we? A time when we’re pushed to our limits. A time when we’re beat down and exhausted. A time when everything within us feels like quitting. You’re not alone in going through hell, the question is, did you quit here? Did the devil find out you’re here and get in your head?
What happens when the devil gets in your head? Let me tell you, you quit!
It’s normal to question if you’re good enough. We all have those fears, and we always will. Every day of training the Navy SEAL candidates question if they’re physically good enough for the challenges. That doesn’t break them. What breaks them is when they start questioning their desire. Do they really want it that bad? Why are they here when they could just go home?
That’s when the devil knows you’re going through hell. That’s his ultimate attack. He pokes at your desire and makes you want to go back to the way it used to be. Funny, you left where you used to be for a reason, but you forget that reason when it’s Hell Week.
I’m talking about your Hell Week. Your ridiculously hard, more than you think you can bare, your personal ‘don’t wanna deal with it’. It’s not about if you can, it’s now about if you want to. Do you still want to make this work? Do you still want to come out on the other side? Do you still want to fight for this? Or has the devil made you question your desire?
This is when marriages come to an end. This is when careers come crashing down. This is when dreams are squashed and goals are abandoned.
You can handle the continual question of being good enough because the truth is, you’re not. You alone are not good enough to do this. But you, with God, are destined to make the impossible possible. You, with God, can face any opposition and come out with the victory.
But when you question your desire to continue, then you’re in trouble. That’s what Hell Week does.
For the Navy SEAL candidates, they are put through so much that they are stripped of every ounce of strength and all that is left is their desire to either continue or the desire to go back to where they came from. And that desire separates the best from the rest. The best still have a desire to continue and refuse to give up. The rest give in to a desire to escape this hell and return to their old life.
When our desire to continue wavers, the devil comes in for the attack. Is that what has happened to you? It was one thing to question if you were good enough, but now questioning if you even want to has taken your struggle to a whole new level.
But Jesus says, “Remember me.” Did you know that’s what he means when he gathers his disciples on the night before he would go to the cross, and he gives them wine and bread for the Last Supper and he says in Luke 22:19, “Do this in remembrance of me.” He is saying REMEMBER ME. Remember my body that was broken for you. Remember my blood that was shed for you. And remember WHY. Remember, I did all of this so that you would have life, and have it to the full.
When you remember Jesus, you keep reaching for the fullness of life he came to give you. When you remember Jesus, you don’t give up on life. When you remember Jesus, you don’t stop because it’s Hell Week. When you remember Jesus, you know the price has already been paid for you to get through this, now dang it, keep moving!
The enemy wins when your thoughts move from “I don’t think I can” to “I don’t think I want to.”
For my sister who is questioning her desire to keep fighting for this, listen to me, REMEMBER JESUS! Remember he came to give you an overflowing life here and for eternity. Remember he went all the way for you. All the way to that cross. All the way through that suffering. All the way through that death. All the way through that tomb. At any moment he could have called down a legion of angels from Heaven to rescue him, but he didn’t. Why? Because he knew he still WANTED to save you. While he suffered, his desire was still there. He didn’t give up on you. Yes he went through Hell Week, and he came out victorious because he never questioned if he wanted to do it for you.
Did he question if he could? Yes. That’s why he called out to God and asked if there could be another way. But he never questioned if he still wanted to save you, and that’s why he did it.
There’s one other person Jesus tells us to remember. He says, “remember me”, remember how I didn’t give up. Remember how I gave everything to give you a full life. But who is the other person Jesus says to remember? He says in Luke 17:32, “Remember Lot’s wife.”
The story of Lot and his wife is in Genesis 19. Lot was a good man living in a terrible city filled with vile sin. God sent angels to destroy the entire city, but also to save Lot and his family. The angels told them to flee and don’t look back. As they ran from the burning sulfur that rained down on the sin filled city, Lot’s wife looked back, and when she did, she turned into a pillar of salt.
She died there. Why? Was it because her eyes saw what she wasn’t supposed to see? No, I don’t think that was it. I believe it was her giving up. She looked back because she wanted to go back. Going through hell, she stopped, she looked back, and she questioned if she really WANTED to keep going. And that was it for her.
So Jesus says, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Remember what happens when you give up on your desire for the life God has for you. Remember what happens when you start questioning if you really want to keep moving forward.
Remember this lesson. And remember Jesus. Remember the one who makes a way. Remember the one who gives you life, life to the full. Remember the one who promises good plans for your life.
And know this, THAT IS WHAT YOU WANT! Now, push through your Hell Week and keep straining for the reward God has for you!
Do you still want it? YES YOU DO!