We Do Not Lose Heart

February 21, 2023

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians chapter 4 of the tremendous hardships he and his co-laborers in the Lord were facing.  They were afflicted in every way.  They were perplexed, persecuted, struck down, and constantly delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake (2 Corinthians 4:8-11).  Despite all of this, he writes to the church at Corinth, “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NAS95)

While facing death and heavy persecution on a daily basis, Paul was able to say, “I do not lose heart!” How could he say this?  How could he have this attitude?  What can we learn from him that will give us this kind of resilient faith that can find joy in the worst of trials?

First, note that Paul focuses on the inner man, not the outer man.  Though our outer man (our body) faces decay, our inner man can be powerfully renewed by the Lord.  Our inner man can be glowing, even when our circumstances are very dim.  Second, notice that Paul focuses on the “eternal weight of glory” that is being produced by the afflictions he faces.  When we face trials, let us focus on the fact that for the faithful, those trials are producing a weight of glory for us in the heavenly realm.  With this proper perspective, we can begin to see that the trials, while painful, are not simply negative events without meaning.  On the contrary, they are producing something glorious and far beyond comparison.  Finally, note that Paul’s focus is not on what is seen, but what is unseen.  This is absolutely critical for finding God’s help and power in trials.  We tend to focus only on the problems before us—the things we can see.  If we would learn instead to focus on the unseen: our loving Savior, His eternal promises, and our home in heaven, we will find comfort and power from the Lord to overcome our trials.

Are you beginning to lose heart because of difficulties in your life?  May the Lord help us all to focus on the inner man, the eternal weight of glory that trials can produce, and the unseen, eternal things of God.

—Scott Colvin

The Power of Your Mindset

January 20, 2023

Mindset is a very powerful thing. The Scripture makes this fact abundantly clear. Paul writes in Romans chapter 8, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace…” (Romans 8:6 NAS95) Similarly, Paul wrote to the Philippian church: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9 NAS95) 

God is offering us His peace! He, as the God of peace, is offering to be with you through the storms of life. He can give us His peace no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in! (2 Thessalonians 3:16) But here is the key: Are you setting your mind on the things of the Spirit? Are you setting your mind on what is true, lovely, and right? Our mindset will determine what we will receive from God. 

It is very easy to let our minds focus on our problems, anxieties, and fears. When our troubles are our focus, we miss out on the supernatural peace of God. That’s not to say that we should never think realistically about challenges that face us, but we must not let our mind be overcome with worry. There needs to be a reset of the mind and heart. 

It is also very easy to let our minds focus on the pleasures of this life. When our mind is constantly set on the things of the world rather than the things of God, the storms of life, when they come (and they will come), will shake us to our very core. There will be little peace found because our mindset has stopped the flow of spiritual power and nourishment from God. 

What do you dwell on during the course of the day? Where is your mind set? If we will set our mind on the Spirit, we will find life and peace! It’s a promise of God! 

—Scott Colvin