Ever had a dream that has come to a place where it seems all but impossible? Ever started some spiritual pursuit with energy and enthusiasm, only to find yourself fading over time? These are a couple of practical examples of what biblical writers are talking about they speak of “losing heart.”
When I have found myself losing heart, it is usually the fruit of forgetting. There is something of Who God really is or who I really am that has fallen from my attention. What are some of these forgetfulness places?
When it comes to ministry, I lose heart when I forget that I serve at the pleasure of Another. Paul reminds himself of this when he says, “since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart (2 Corinthians 4:1).”
My calling and place of ministry has been a matter of God’s own choosing, not mine. And God is never wrong. Remembering this awakens gratitude in me for the privilege of being one through whom God work for the blessing and benefit of others.
Sometimes I lose heart when I notice changes in my body in my 50s as compared to my 20s. This focus on the outward misses where my identity is actually rooted. I am not primarily defined by this outward, physical life, but by my inner life with God. Paul refocuses me when he says, “we [need] not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).”
As my outer life inevitably wears down over time, who I truly am is being renewed daily. By God’s grace, I am becoming inwardly more and more myself in Christ. Thank You, Father, for Your Spirit’s inner work in restoring Your originally intended image of me.