Daily Devotion, 5-1-2020

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Don’t Lose Heart
Readings: 2 Corinthians 4

At this time, we are facing one of the biggest crises ever faced in my 60 years of living. This crisis, COVID-19, has affected us by infecting 3.3 million people and taking over 230,000 lives. In addition, it has resulted in devastating economic repercussions worldwide. Yet this morning, a gentleman called in to a popular Christian radio station and talked about the peace he had in the midst of this crisis. He went on to describe this peace as something that he was not bragging about but was sharing so that others would know that this peace that has transcended him during this crisis is all because of what God is doing in him and through him.
 

This same type of peace is described in Paul’s writing in 2  Corinthians 4:16-20. In this passage, the word “therefore” precedes the words “do not lose heart”. The preceding verses tell us why we do not lose heart as Christians. We may all feel like we are at the end of our rope at times (hard-pressed, perplexed, abandoned, struck down) but we are not. All of these feelings are temporary and when we have Christ in our lives we do not feel crushed, in despair, abandoned or destroyed. When we believe, we share with others about these trials and how God has sustained us, never to boast about ourselves, but to acknowledge the grace and peace of God that transcends all so that more and more people are being reached. Imagine the number of people who also heard this young man this morning and his witness of how God is sustaining him in the midst of this crisis.

As Christians we do “not lose heart” when tragedy strikes so that others may be reached through God’s grace as we give thanks amidst crises.  The thanks we give is an overflow of God's grace which points others to God’s glory. As Christians, what are some ways we can focus our attention on God's grace amidst problems? We can remember the suffering Christ has already endured for our sakes; recognize our need for God as Lord and Savior; acknowledge our life as a vapor that is brief and commit to making the best of the short time we've been given; illustrate our faith to others; and acknowledge God's ability and demonstration of power at work in us and through us.

That young man on the radio made quite the impression on me by basically saying, “I am not bragging about me at all but am pointing to God who has given me this transcendent peace amidst this most difficult time and that gives me the opportunity to share my faith with others when they ask how I can be so much “at peace”. O, that we all could have this same spirit right now in the presence of others instead of all the "blame gaming" and "finger pointing".  Instead let us not lose heart but offer the grace of God as the only, ultimate Way to eternal peace. 

Dear God, thank you for sustaining us as we go through this crisis together. Forgive us when we blame others and point fingers at others who will feel have caused this great tragedy. Please give us strength during these difficult times and a transcendent peace that can only come from you and in so doing may others be brought ever closer to you by the power of your grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 
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