DON’T LOSE HEART

The third Friday of each month in 2019 we are studying my favorite life verses: 2 Corinthians 4:15-18. This section of Scripture has proven a solid source of faith for me through many challenges over the past fifteen years. As we work our way through this passage of verses you’ll see it build on the previous phrases all the way to the end.

All this is for your benefit so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart.

 

Stretched Faith.

Sometimes life gets tough as we press into the destiny that God has called us to. Our faith gets stretched to limits we’ve never experienced. We may find ourselves questioning God’s plan and purpose. We may even begin to doubt that God is with us because He seems so distant.

Count trials as joy.

Count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. ~ James 1:2-3

Scripture encourages us to count our trials as joy before us as we follow in Christ steps of suffering. And we can count on God’s joy to strengthen us for our journey. Math is Jesus’ Kingdom is unlike that of the world:

When the world counts troubles:  BAD + BAD = WORSE.

In Jesus’s Kingdom:  BAD + BAD = JOY

 

The author of Hebrews calls us to keep our eyes on Jesus and to follow His example.  As He endured the cross, He focused on the joy of the coming Kingdom rather than the suffering He was experiencing. So too, can we. As we keep our eyes on Christ and the joy before us in His Kingdom we will be less likely to lose heart during our trials and struggles.

We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God! ~ Hebrews 12:2 

Prayer guards our heart.

In Luke 18:1 Jesus tells we are always to pray and not lose heart. Meaning that prayer encourages steadfastness in our spirit and guards our soul against disheartedness while we are waiting on God to answer us.

Trust The King

There will always be opportunities to lose heart and be disappointed. People will let us down. We will even let ourselves down. But with Jesus the King of our heart we can’t lose! No matter how things look today we can trust that God will never let us down!

Contemplate on Jesus being the King of Your Heart today as you watch/listen to this beautiful Bethel Worship song.

All Scripture quoted in this article are from  The Passion Translation (TPT).

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

Working the Steps–Step 7

Continuing my goal to work The Twelve Steps, one Step for each month of the year; focusing on Step 7 for July…

Step Seven:
Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

Step Seven is critical to the cleansing process and will prepare us for the next stages of our recovery. In the first six steps, we became aware of our problems, looked at ourselves honestly, revealed hidden parts of ourselves and became ready to change.

Step Seven is the opportunity for God to remove these hidden areas. If you are anything like me, your list is long and painful to reflect on. That pain may bring us to our knees, but what better place to humble ourselves before the Lord in prayer.

We must not hold anything back. It is only in surrendering everything to Him, that we will find true healing and freedom. We must take the inventory list and give each item to God; only then will we experience the serenity that brings the true joy we seek.

Going down the list of shortcomings can cause us to dwell on our self. To take our mind off self, we can meditate on Christ’s presence in our life, on being free to live life following His example. We will soon begin to care more for others and put our self in proper perspective. We will begin to understand who we are and find joy in becoming the person God wants us to be.

To truly humble ourselves in the biblical sense, we must see ourselves as God see us. This can be difficult when our entire life as been spent seeing our self as worthless. By reading and meditating on God’s word regularly we will find the value God sees in us and His plan for our life. We must empty our self like Christ did, surrender to God’s will, serve others and thereby fulfill God’s plan for our life.

It takes faith and courage to ask God to remove our shortcomings. We must trust that God hears us when we pray and believe He wants to answer us. We may not feel or sense an immediate change, but in thankfulness we can go forward confessing that God has heard our request and has begun the change in us. In time change will come to our sight.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. — Psalm 51:10-12

Originally posted January, 9, 2009