Three reasons Christians should never give up
Is life tough? Focus on these three things and don't lose heart!
I recently learned about an emerging trend called the 'gamification of life'. It’s basically turning life into a game complete with points, incentives and levels. 1 point for cleaning your teeth. 5 points for taking rubbish out. 10 points for inbox zero. 20 points for doing your most dreaded tasks. After a certain number of points, you can reward yourself or somehow move onto the next level. From the examples I’ve read online, it looks like a useful way to get things done!
When it comes to the Christian life, followers of Jesus don’t need to create little incentives and rewards to get through. There is a bigger incentive and motivation.
Do not lose heart
In 2 Corinthians 4, the big goal of the Christian life is to “not lose heart”. It’s the idea of preserving until the end in the Christian life. Like a runner lasting to the end of the race, the Christian is to keep going and keep trusting Jesus. We can get so easily distracted by the things in front of us: the smartphone, gaming console, the guy or girl you’re interested in. But we fail to see the bigger picture of eternity.
So let's have a look at 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 and see three things that will help us not lose heart.
1. You are being renewed
The first reason to not lose heart is shown through a comparison between the outer-self and the inner-self.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)
The outer-self, the old self that belongs to this world, that is riddled by sin is wasting away. The inner-self, the new self that belongs to the world to come, is being made more and more like Jesus and is being renewed.
Each day, Christians are becoming more like Jesus. We often focus on external things: appearance; beauty; ripped abs; making much of self; looking for likes online. But this is futile and focusing on the wrong things! Our identity isn’t in those external things, our identity is to be found in being made and saved by Christ!! It sucks that we waste away, but for the Christian our hope is in the internal makeover that Jesus is doing in us. You are getting an internal makeover!
Don’t lose heart - know that Jesus is making you new!
2. You will stand in glory
The second reason to not lose heart is shown through a comparison between the troubles we face and the glory to come.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
Troubles in this life are momentary compared to the glory that is to come. Those troubles even help to prepare us for that glory all the more. What is the glory? It's the beauty, wonder, magnificence and splendour of God. And Christians get to share in that!! All of us will undergo troubles, hardship and grief in this life. You may not have been through much yet, but you will. That’s part of living in a broken world. Personal struggles. Depression. Anxiety. Addiction. Sick family members. Death.
When you undergo trouble, hardship and grief, it should make you long and hunger all the more to stand in glory. To share in Jesus' beauty. To see his face. To have his nail-pierced hands wipe your crying eyes!
You’ve gotta go through the hard stuff. Keep going. Don't lose heart - know that something better, infinitely better is coming!
3. You will live forever
The third reason to not lose heart is shown through a comparison between what is temporary and what is eternal.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
Remember the things we see here and now will not last. The troubles, grief, hobbies, entertainment, social media profiles. These things are temporary. To focus all our attention on these things is to fail to see big picture! This life is temporary. So what? Some conclude #YOLO. You Only Live Once. So go and do dumb stuff, photograph it and then share it online. Really? No! If you only live once, #DWYL. Don't Waste Your Life! It’s a short life.
Perhaps you're reading this and are distracted form eternity. Perhaps at the moment you are solely living only for the temporary. The tragic news is that if you continue like that, you’ll rightly spend eternity judged by God for your sin. Your life now is a pixel on the screen of eternity! Where will you spend eternity? Turn to Jesus! Put your trust in him. Live forgiven by God, in relationship with God, in the new creation as a new creation!
We don't need temporary pleasures that bring only momentary satisfaction. Keep your eyes on that ultimate prize of heaven, eternity, paradise! Don’t lose heart - Jesus is making you new!
This post originally appeared on www.davemiers.com