Four reasons why we do not lose heart
Created by Jon Taylor - Friday 30 Sep 2016
Jon Taylor
Scripture encourages us in various ways not to lose heart. To use a phrase in common-usage today, we need to keep on keeping-on. Invariably it is too easy to lose heart the minute we temporarily avert our attention from considering the biblical and eternal perspective, or become overwhelmed by our problems. The reality is that we have everything we need in Christ and it is helpful to regularly remind ourselves and others of this.

The parable of the Persistent Widow-praying enables us to not lose heart
Luke 18 commences with the encouragement preceding this parable that ‘men always ought to pray and lose heart’ (v1). If we refuse to pray, we will faint and the term faint is designated of a believer who loses heart and becomes so discouraged that they want to quit.
[i] This is true in a generic sense of all prayer but the sense here relates especially to God’s deliverance in times of testing.[ii] This so often encourages me to persist in prayer when I consider that God will avenge His elect. Since even an unjust judge eventually responds to a persistent widow for want of being wearied, how much more will our heavenly Father respond to our prayers. In a similar way, our fathers would not give us a snake or scorpion instead of bread or fish to eat and God can supply all our needs according to His riches and mercy. Having said this, we need to pray according to God’s will and that He might be glorified in what we ask for, not out of purely person-centric motives. In light of the afflictions and hardships in life, praying helps us to not lose heart.

We have received a ministry of the New Covenant; therefore we do not lose heart
2 Corinthians 4:1 states ‘Therefore since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.’ Losing heart is a powerful Greek term which describes an individual succumbing to cowardly surrender.
[iii] When one recognises the tremendous dignity of the Christian ministry this enables Paul or other men not to lose heart.[iv]Ministry to be involved in is a wonderful gift from God, given to us because of God’s goodness and mercy towards us, not because we deserve it. Gospel ministry of the New Covenant is life-changing. Since ministry is a God-given privilege and it can transform other’s lives, we do not lose heart.

We are being renewed day by day so we do not lose heart
2 Corinthians 4:16 helps us. ‘Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.’ Immediately prior to this statement Paul testified of his personal experience and that of his companions being cast down but unconquered. Similar passages concerning the astonishing hardships Paul endured are found in the same epistle in 2 Corinthians 6:3-10 and 11:22-33. Paul unequivocally ponders what he considers to be the light afflictions of this earthly life with the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. His focus departs from the visible and the temporary to the unseen and everlasting. We are decaying physically but are being renewed spiritually. Paul knew that He who raised our Lord, will raise us up with the Lord Jesus. Those who wait on the Lord, will renew their strength. Each day has enough troubles of its own and we need to be renewed daily. Therefore, since we are being renewed day by day, we do not lose heart.

We shall reap if we do not lose heart
Galatians 6:9 provides instruction and counsel. ‘And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.’ Sometimes we can labour hard in Christian ministry and become disappointed through an apparent lack of harvest. Sometimes it is a case that one reaps while another sows. At other times we will have to wait for the harvest, though that is no reason to grow weary from doing good. In the natural we wouldn’t expect to see instantaneous growth of our crops! The Lord oversees the harvest, not the labourers.
Furthermore, we should never hesitate to do good to others and especially to those of the household of faith. We can also refresh ourselves and others with the reassuring thought and timeless truth that in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.

[i] Warren Wiersbe The Wiersbe Bible Commentary (David C Cook, Colorado Springs; 2007), p199
[ii] William MacDonald Believers Bible Commentary (Thomas Nelson, Nashville; 1995), p1437
[iii] John MacArthur The MacArthur Bible Commentary (Thomas Nelson, Nashville; 2005), p1625
[iv] Macdonald, p1832
[v] Wiersbe p579

Friday 30 Sep 2016