January 7, 2019
By Steve King
We are into our second week of 2019 and “opportunities to trust the Lord” abound! Yet, don’t lose heart!
Did you know there are six “do not lose heart” passages in the New Testament: Luke 18:1; 2 Corinthians 4:1,16; Galatians 6:9; Ephesians 3:13; Hebrews 12:3; 2 and Thessalonians 3:13? Read them this week and you will discover that for every “lose heart” circumstance, God makes available a “strong heart” resource.
Did you know that in the Bible, losing heart is not discouragement, disappointment, fear, testing, fatigue, or frustration? For example, Jesus, before His arrest, was stressed to the point of sweating blood, three times pleaded with His disciples to pray for Him, kept throwing Himself on the ground, and repeatedly cried out to God (Heb 5:7; Matthew 26:36-46; Luke 22:39-46). Yet, in all this He did not lose heart.
In addition, Paul was afflicted and despaired even of life (2 Cor 1:8-9). Yet, he twice states that he did not lose heart during this season (2 Cor 4:1,16).
Losing heart literally means to “give into evil.” We lose heart when we cave into evil, both inside us and outside us, by refusing to live by faith in the character and promises of God (Heb 11:6). We stop looking to the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus Christ, and depending on the Holy Spirit (Heb 12:2; Gal 5:16-26).
Henry Nouwen shared the lesson of trust he learned from a family of trapeze artists. After watching them “fly through the air with the greatest of ease,” he asked one of the flyers the secret of the handoff in mid-air.
They explained to Nouwen, “The secret is that the flyer does nothing and the catcher does everything. When I fly to Joe, my catcher, I simply stretch out my arms and hands and wait for him to catch me and pull me safely over the apron. The worst thing the flyer can do is to try to catch the catcher! If I grabbed Joe’s wrist, I might break them, or he might break mine, and that would be the end of both of us. A flyer must fly, and a catcher must catch, and the flyer must trust, with outstretched arms, that his catcher will be there for him.”
Don’t lose heart! Jesus has never dropped anyone who stretched out their arms of faith toward Him!