Do not Lose Heart
Have you ever seen someone lose heart? Maybe today you are struggling with issues and are on the verge of losing heart. Maybe you have already lost heart.
Whether you are an athlete, a senior adult, a movie star, or a teenager there will be times when you will want to give up. You will lose heart. God has a better way. God loves you. God has a plan for your life.
We are going to look at a man in the Bible who faced difficult circumstances. If anybody ever had a reason to give up, he did. However, he did not lose heart. Look at II Cor. 4:8-9. “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” Twice in this chapter Paul testifies that he did not lose heart (vs. 1 and vs. 16). I want to sit at this man’s feet. I want to learn from him. He’s got some secrets that we need to know. We can discover these secrets as we examine the context of II Cor. 4.
1. The first secret is to rely on the goodness of God. In verse 1 Paul indicated he had received “mercy.” Paul came into the Christian life because of the mercy and grace of God. He had been an angry, vicious enemy of the church. He had consented to the death of many Christians. He had been filled with legalism and tradition that drove him to be the enemy of God. However, God gave him a second chance. He confessed his failures and short-comings and turned to faith in Jesus Christ. After turning to faith in Jesus Paul relied on the grace of God to see him through any and every circumstance.
Look at a list of Paul’s trials in verses 8-10 and in chapter 6.
1. He was pressured.
2. He was perplexed.
3. He was hunted.
4. He was knocked down.
5. He received stripes (6:5).
6. He was imprisoned (6:5).
7. He faced tumult (6:5).
8. He faced sleeplessness (6:5).
Trials tend to bring out the worst in us.
said, “I say—and say it deliberately—trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats,...