Monday, June 2, 2014

"Faint Not"

2 Corinthians 4:1 - "Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not." 2 Corinthians 4:16 - "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." Ephesians 3:13 -"Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory." The King James version delivers the expression by Paul, "faint not." The term means, "Don't lose heart," "Don't be discouraged," or, "Don't give up."

In 2 Corinthians 4:1, the idea is that we won't give up on our ministry as Christians because we have the tender mercies of God.

In 2 Corinthians 4:16, we are encouraged to not lose heart about our physical ailments and aging because we are growing spiritually and towards the perfection that will have its completion upon our transition from earth to heaven.

In Ephesians 3:13, the apostle Paul tells the church at Ephesus not to be discouraged about his sufferings because they amount to their salvation.

"Faint not" is a wonderful statement that belongs in the life of a Christian. We have eternal goals that will not be realized while we are here. We have good reason to endure whatever trials may befall us because of the things that lie ahead.

We also heed the command to "faint not" because we need to learn patience. Sometimes we give up too quickly. Abraham was impatient with the promise. Paul was impatient with John Mark. Jonah was impatient with God. We put a time frame on results over which we have no control. If we are wise we will simplify our lives into doing God's work and leave the timing and future results up to Him.

I was reminded of this just this past Sunday. A family, who I had originally contacted two years ago, visited our congregation. It didn't happen overnight, but according to the grace of God circumstances worked out for them to be with us. I love these people and I hope they will eventually become a part of our spiritual family. Clarence DeLoach was correct in the Sunday evening prayer when he mentioned it is not our responsibility to produce results, but rather we are here for the sowing.

This is a hard lesson to learn for any Christian who wants to make an impact. We want to see physical results. But how can you see what is really going on in the hearts of people with whom you have real influence? Perhaps the change they are experiencing is too beautiful and transcendent for the human mind to perceive and too glorious for the weakness of man to observe in the flesh. When we use that part of us that is made in the image of God, to touch the part of others that is made in that same image - we find ourselves in heavenly realms much too wonderful for us to know.

So let's do kingdom work until Jesus comes. And whatever the obstacles, difficulties, or discouragements - press on, Christian family. Press on and faint not!

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." ~ Galatians 6:9

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