858 Keeping Your Heart Part 1 - 2 Corinthians 4:1
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Have you ever been tempted to lose heart?   "Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart." 2 Corinthians 4:1   Recently, I was tempted to lose heart. I got the idea that what I was trying to accomplish wasn't worth the effort. That very day, my daily devotional brought me to this verse. I was reminded that the Greek word translated "lose heart," in this passage is only used a few times in the New Testament.   This Greek word means to cowardly surrender. I take that to mean to quit because I give up. I don't have the courage to persist. Often, I lie to myself and tell myself it's not worth the effort. But in reality, I'm afraid of losing. I don't want my career or my pursuit of God to end up short of what I expect. Since I grew up in the US, I can rationalize the explanation around to thinking my effort won't be worth the reward. But I know God is almighty. I must either fear that I'm chasing the wrong thing, or that God isn't powerful enough to complete the promise I sensed when I had a vision.   So I decided to admit my temptation to surrender in a cowardly way; to give up. What would it take to let God inform me instead of my fears? So I want to study these verses with you. They're not in order of importance, but just the order I came to them. Let's see what we learn.   In this first passage, we learn that God gave Paul a ministry. Since the ministry was given by God, he would not lose heart. But he's Paul the Apostle. I'm just Mike the ordinary. Do I have a ministry? Do you?   We've all been given a ministry. Romans 8:29-30 says that everyone Jesus saves is called, justified and glorified. It's a done work. Ephesians 2:10 says we're created in Christ for good works that God prepared beforehand. We simply walk in them. You have a ministry. And since you do, and since it came from God, do not lose heart. Keep going.   I asked God to help me keep going. I asked him to do that for you, too. He is guiding us. He is directing us. Things take more time, energy and money than we think. But God has given us his word so what we would focus on him and not on our circumstances. You have a ministry today. You've been called to good works. And since you do, then don't lose heart. Remember it was God, who knows you better than you know yourself who gave you this assignment. Talk to him. Listen to him and then ask him to help you keep going.   And if he does something for you today or tomorrow to help you keep going, please share that with me. Send a note to info@followerofone.org and let us know.
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