The three years before this writer entered high school, we had so little rain we had virtually no crops to harvest. Banks were repossessing many farms that had been in families for generations. But my father did not give up. He got the best job he could find. He would work all night, come home to sleep for about four hours, then work the farm until time to leave for his night job. I often wondered where he found the strength and resolve, but he just kept plugging away.
When the Apostle Paul wrote his second epistle to the believers at Corinth, he had already experienced many severe trials. But he didn’t give up his ministry for the Lord. He could say, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (II Corinthians 4:8-9). He told the saints that while “…our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (II Corinthians 4:16). As he spent time each day in God’s Word, he was “changed…even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18). It was this time of daily spiritual renewal that kept the Apostle Paul from giving up in discouragement and able to just keep plugging away in the cause of Christ. But there were three things that motivated Paul to be faithful. He wrote, “Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not…” (II Corinthians 4:1-2). He saw the ministry the Lord gave him as a real privilege and responsibility. People were counting on him, and the Lord was counting on him. So he needed to keep plugging away regardless of hardships. Paul also never forgot that God had bestowed His divine mercy upon him. He was a guilty sinner deserving only God’s wrath. But in mercy, the Lord saved him and entrusted him with ministry. Therefore, it was his reasonable service to remain faithful. Third, Paul had cultivated a genuine burden for lost souls (Romans 9:1-3; 10:1), because he realized the gravity of eternal punishment, even if the lost did not. So, he never gave up trying to reach people with the gospel.
Have you grown weary in faithfulness, ministry, or trying to reach the lost? Don’t give up. Allow these three things to motivate you to remain faithful and renew your strength through a daily quiet time.
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