Faith column: Don’t lose heart
A recurring theme in the New Testament of our Bible has a message for us, always, but particularly now.
Don’t lose heart, don’t grow weary or fainthearted, don’t be discouraged or give up. Faint not.
A handful of Greek terms frame these English renderings. The most common Greek word derives its root meaning from the word we translate evil. Therefore, many Bible scholars believe that to understand what is intended in the phrase “don’t lose heart” we need to look at the common ways that difficult times and stressful situations can derail us morally.
Not losing heart then, has to do with one or more of three temptations:
- Giving in to fleshly desires
- Focusing on the temporal rather than the eternal
Sadly, this current time of stressful living, for too many, has revealed one or more of the aforementioned pitfalls indicating one has grown weary or given in.
Some individuals and companies are “fudging” information to get in line and receive stimulus monies.
It’s reported that traffic to internet websites of an “adult nature” have skyrocketed during the stay at home/safer at home orders. Liquor stores and “pot shops” were among the first businesses deemed “essential”. Overeating has been an almost universal temptation at this time.
Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Many, who follow Christ are losing sight of the great promises that await those who believe, in exchange for the fear and frustration of today and the near future.
2 Corinthians 4:16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Several New Testament writers, under inspiration, give us antidotes for these tangible ways that we can give in or give up in the face of difficulty. Jesus himself, tells a parable (Luke 18) with the intent that we will not grow weary, lose heart or faint and ALWAYS PRAY.
One repeated imperative when tempted to give in is to not grow weary of doing good.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith
2 Thessalonians 3:13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.
So, don’t lose heart, don’t give in or give up, don’t grow weary or be fainthearted.
Pray, do good to others and focus on the future – the eternal destination of your soul.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Pastor Len Browning is the lead pastor at Craig Journey Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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