“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
When we consider what our greatest battle is, we should ask what causes Christians to cool off in their love for God. Far and away, discouragement leads the way. Many believers do not let on that they’ve grown discouraged; they just drop out, or cool off. Whereas formerly they joyfully served God and sought to please Him in every way, now they have drifted from that first love and find it difficult just to keep up with life itself. They’ve grown discouraged. When we face discouraging times, we should ponder three vital truths:
1. All Christians face serious discouragement from time to time.
Peter wrote his first letter to comfort his tested readers, and reminded them that they face nothing different than others have faced:
“Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:9).
Jesus warned us of times of testing that would come upon us, and stated that we would face afflictions in this world (John 16:33). We should take comfort that we are not alone in our sufferings, because others have and are experiencing them, too.
2. God provides abundant grace in time of need.
In the Christian life, suffering never outpaces comfort. Paul wrote to the Corinthians with this in mind:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
No matter how severe the test, it cannot outweigh God’s strengthening grace.
3. We discover God’s power through testing.
God never wastes our time. He uses all the events in our lives to teach us things. He teaches us that His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). When we face prolonged struggles, we need to look to God to provide us with soul-strengthening power.
While we will certainly feel the afflictions we face, they need not detour us from loving God with all our heart, strength and mind, and helping others see and discover God’s grace for themselves.
Posted on Wed, March 29, 2017
by Sam Petitfils