Choose Not to Lose Heart
One More Year of Choices
By Barbara Dahlgren
God tells us not to lose heart. What does losing heart mean? Well, it can mean getting discouraged (Hebrews 12:3), being in despair (Ecclesiastes 2:20), growing weary of well doing (2 Thessalonians 3:13), or thinking there is no hope (Job 7:6). Losing heart encompasses so many feelings of despondency, dejection, and depression. Much of what goes on in life can lead us to lose heart. Sometimes we just want to stop, quit, give-up, and run away. David said, “O that I had wings like a dove, then I would fly away…” (Psalms 55:6) Therefore, God tells us not to lose heart. He says…
- Do not lose heart during trials. (Ephesians 3:13)
- Do not lose heart during hardships. (2 Corinthians 4:1)
- Do not lose heart when feeling weary. (Galatians 6:9)
- Do not lose heart when it looks like you can’t win. (Luke 18:1-8)
Not losing heart is an important aspect of the Christian journey. God never promised us a pleasant little walk with rose petals strewn along our pathway. Life is tough. Life is full of health challenges, family upsets, work concerns, troubles, grief, pain, burdens, afflictions, set-backs, and unfulfilled expectations. Being a Christian does not make us immune to life’s problems.
No one knew that better than the great apostle Paul. During his lifetime he was beaten, stoned, tired, hungry, cold, naked, sick, and sleep deprived. There were times when he was at risk in the city, in the country, in the wilderness, and at sea, plus in grave danger from robbers, the Gentiles, and even his own countrymen. (2 Corinthians 11:25-28) Good times, huh???
Yet, he did not lose heart. He said, “We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed. We are perplexed, but not in despair. We are persecuted, but not forsaken. We are struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9) What was his secret?
Paul did not lose heart because even though his outward man appeared to be perishing, his inward man was renewed daily. (2 Corinthians 4:16) He knew that our physical bodies are just earthen vessels or clay jars that hold a treasure. (2 Corinthians 4:7) That treasure is Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:1) The life of Jesus is manifested in our bodies – our very being. Our relationship with the living Savior is what can keep us from losing heart.
Christians go through the same hardships everyone else does, but they do not go through them alone. God is with them. Christians have hope. They have an eternal glory which far outweighs momentary troubles. They see what cannot be seen with the human eye – the eternal destiny God has planned for them. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
Consider this… We will lose heart if we do not renew the inner man daily. (2 Corinthians 4:16) We simply aren’t strong enough physically, emotionally, or spiritually to make it on our own.
When we renew our inner man daily, we can look beyond our situations. A close relationship with God helps us fix our eyes on Jesus, not our circumstances. Our outward body may grow weaker, but our inner being can grow stronger with God’s strength. (2 Corinthians 12:9) God’s renewed strength helps us face what life throws at us each day. We have a hope others don’t have. Therefore, we are not consumed because God’s compassions and mercies do not fail; they are brand new every day. (Lamentations 3:21-24)
The secret to not losing heart is being renewed daily. This only happens when we make it a habit to daily walk with God.
Suggestions for practicing this choice…
Think of these physical analogies: Our cars can’t run forever on one tank of gas. We can’t stay active on one meal a week. One drink of water occasionally will not keep us from dehydrating. Our spiritual lives are the same. We need to be daily walking with God. This means talking with God, reading His Word, and meditating on how to apply what God reveals to us in our lives – each and every day.
Learn to light a candle instead of curse the darkness. Look for ways to serve others.
When circumstances are bad whisper these words: Lord, I choose to trust You. Help me look beyond my circumstances to You!
God says He will never leave or forsake us. Choose to believe it! (Hebrews 13:5)
Never cease praying for God’s will to be done, not yours. God may not always give us what we want, but He will give us what is best for us. Ask God to help you not to lose heart! (Luke 18:1)