Saturday, June 16, 2007

Do Not Lose Heart

2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. NIV

At this time last year, our church underwent some serious trouble. One of our staff members had terrible personal problems, which in turn affected the whole congregation and created a small division. It took a great deal of focus, energy, and determination to endure and overcome the fall out. A lot of prayer was said and eventually the tide turned. We lost eight members, but by the end of the year, we still managed to have an overall gain of eighteen people. God’s mercy enabled us to carry on our ministry and mission at Erin Presbyterian. Through His grace, we did not lose heart.

Since then, we’ve undergone recovery. We’re still picking up the pieces and are only beginning to restart some projects that fell by the wayside. For the first time in a long time, we’ve let God carry us, as well as lead us. It’s been a humbling experience, but in the end it will prove to be a worthwhile one.

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians so long ago, he was addressing them as someone who had been through a lot of trouble, grief, and pain. He had been beaten up for his faith, cast out of different cities, shipwrecked, and almost lynched on several occasions. He had also been arrested, thrown into jail, and was now awaiting trial. If anyone had a right to lose heart, it was Paul, but he also relied upon God’s mercy to get him through the bad times, as well as the good ones.

He was also writing to a church that had its share of problems. The Christians at Corinth were going through a cultural war, where members of the congregation were struggling with adhering to Christ’s demands, as opposed to accepting the world’s ways. They wanted to be holy, but not different; they aspired to be faithful, but not unfashionable. Paul reminded them of their special calling in order to help them get back on the right track. And even though he was hundreds of miles away from them, Paul embraced them in his heart and loved them back to the Gospel.

Today, you may be doubting yourself, your faith, your church, your purpose, your personal ministry and mission. Remember that God is merciful and that through Christ, He will sustain you. Do not lose heart, for remember, He who called you to do His will is patient, gracious, faithful, and forgiving.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we feel so unworthy, so unprepared, and so faithless at times to fulfill the ministries that You ask us to undertake and accomplish. We get frustrated and impatient, bedeviled and beguiled by our fears, our doubts, and our problems. Grant us Your grace to sustain us through our worst experiences and most troublesome of times. Lead us by Your love, so that we will not lose heart, nor let go of our calling. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Stushie writes the daily devotional Heaven's Highway, which you can link to from the blog listing on the right of this page. He also went on Blogachute #5 on the website, which turned out to be quite informative and exhiliarating...

1 comment:

Sarah Louise said...

Thanks for the reminder.