Stress so heavy it feels as if life itself is being squeezed out. Thoughts swimming in a sea of uncertainty. Feelings of rejection, ridicule and defeat threatening on every side. Ever feel like this? Paul certainly did. Yet he sends a clear message to struggling believers of every age—the pressure will not crush us; our confusion will not destroy us; and no matter how severe the persecution, the Lord will not abandon us. Because Paul had experienced countless rescues by the hand of God, he is able to encourage fellow believers going through such troubled times with an amazing message of hope: don’t lose heart.
I have to admit, I’m tempted to lose heart over circumstances much less taxing than the ones Paul describes. When I focus on the seen rather than the unseen, I give too much power to people and situations which by nature are passing. When I allow the “temporary” to become the “eternal,” I forget that in this jar of clay resides the unending power of God. A power that transforms my greatest crises into “light and momentary troubles.”
Those sweet yet powerful words—don’t lose heart—are being spoken to you today. To me. We have the opportunity to let go of despair and grab the gospel…a gospel which reminds us that when the world was at its darkest, hope rose from the tomb. And because Christ’s greatest trial became the source of his greatest triumph, so it is for us. Our problems “are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (verse 17).
But don’t take my word for it. If you are struggling, it’s time to give your faith a little boost— by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). I can’t think of a better place to start than the fourth chapter of 2 Corinthians. Read it. Consume it. Draw inspiration from its timeless message….
Let the infallible word of God cause you not to lose heart.