2 Corinthians 4: Do Not Lose Heart
May 5, 2019
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
1 Samuel 11-13, Psalm 99, Mark 11:1-11, 2 Corinthians 4
This – one of the great chapters in the Bible, and in the Book of 2 Corinthians – is Paul’s description of why it is that Christians do not lose heart or become discouraged. He starts with that as his theme (v.1) and ends with it too (v.16). How and why do we not “lose heart”?
First, because in evangelism, we set forth the truth plainly. We do not use deception, but rather rely upon the power of God and his Word by his Spirit to open blind eyes. This approach – the lack of deception or manipulation and the reliance on the work of God through his Word – allows us to not lose heart. Martin Luther perhaps expressed it best when, reflecting on the extraordinary work of God through his life and ministry, said that while he and his friend Melancthon supped their beer, the word was at work. It is God’s Word. It is God’s work. He must do it. That means we can sleep and rest and not lose heart.
Second, God’s purpose is to cause us at times to have our weaknesses exposed so that people can see that the power is from God, and not from us. This also causes us not to lose heart, because if we sense that we are being exposed or ridiculed or coming across as particularly weak in some way or other, we know that God is using our weakness to show his power.
Third, we do not lose heart because of the eternal perspective. “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” While times may on occasions be hard, we have an eternal future that gives us great courage, hope, and strength, even in the midst of such difficulties.
What then should we do most of all in order not to lose heart? Consciously and deliberately “fix your eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen.” Spend time prayerfully imagining heaven. Fix your eyes on Jesus. And in the light of that eternal glory and his glorious face, nothing should ever cause you to lose heart.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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