Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February 19 - We Do Not Lose Heart

Today's Reading:
2 Kings 1:1-2:25
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10
Psalm 98:1-9
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Focus Verses:
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Paul is honest with the Corinthians about the fatigue and weariness he is experiencing in his life and ministry. He is also clear about the hope he has in Christ. Even though there are hardships and troubles, he does not lose heart. In fact, he can see God using those troubles to accomplish greater things.

Though Paul and his ministry partners are outwardly weary, he says they are inwardly renewed one day at a time. Paul says that they experience this hope and renewal by looking past the momentary troubles to the eternal promises of God. Christians can find strength, purpose, and renewal each day by having an eternal perspective that sees beyond the trouble of the moment, by looking to Jesus for strength, and by believing God can use even the difficulties of life for good.

Response and Action:
Jesus said that in this world we would see trouble, but even in the face of trouble we should take heart because he has overcome the world (John 16:33). I will place my hope in Jesus and fix my eyes on him. Because my view of life includes the perspective of eternity, I will look at the troubles of today as momentary and temporary. I will trust God to bring me through my problems and look to him for the strength I need for today. I believe God is so redemptive and sovereign that he can use even the hardships of my life to accomplish good things.

O God, lead me away from temptation and deliver me from evil. This world is filled with trouble, so in your grace and mercy, sustain me and renew me. Help me to fix my eyes on Jesus and your eternal promises so that I might not lose heart. Make my life a testimony of your faithfulness to uphold and strengthen those who trust in you. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: James 1:2-5
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Embracing the Mysterious God: Loving the God We Don't Understand
by James Emery White

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