Growing Faint? – II Corinthians 4:2

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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Have you ever grown “faint” [to be weak or to fail in heart] in efforts to minister to others? I have two grace pastor friends who suffered such poor treatment from their churches that they permanently got out of the ministry. When I called to encourage them, they were hurt and completely drained spiritually. Most pastors know how they feel too. Christians can be unresponsive, unappreciative, overly critical, petty, and simply cruel.

Paul knew others in his day had similar struggles with being “faint” in the ministry and their daily walk with Christ. When a heavy load of legalism discouraged many in Galatia, Paul taught them to stand fast in their liberty, and he encouraged them by saying: “…Let us not be wearying in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). Paul, too, resisted the urge to faint in discouragement. But several things sustained him. He said: “Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not” (II Corinthians 4:1). God’s great mercy given in forgiveness and eternal life, rather than eternal punishment, caused Paul to see ministry for the Lord as only his reasonable service. But beyond this, he viewed ministry as a great responsibility. He did not faint because it was a privilege to serve the Lord. Eternal souls hung in the balance, as they needed the gospel, and those already saved needed ministry. With this in mind, he pressed on in faithful ministry “…commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (II Corinthians 4:2). Paul also saw the influence and impact he could have on the saints as a motivator to keep him going in ministry. He wrote: “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not…” (II Corinthians 4:15-16). Paul had a strong desire to see the God of all mercy glorified. This would be done through other saints if he would only “faint not” and remain faithful in ministry.

If you’ve grown faint in ministering to others, you’re not alone. But we must remember that we will reap rewards in eternity if we faint not. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58). If you’ve stopped ministering to others, please start again.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."