It’s Always Too Soon to Quit
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
Are you having a bad day? Or maybe you cynically laugh at that question and say, Man, I’ve had a bad year, even a bad past five years!
Well, I hear you. And today, I actually want to bring you encouragement. You might be used to me being pretty hard on you, but today I want to encourage you. You’d better soak it in, because I don’t know how long it’s going to last.
There’s all kinds of advice out there for people when times are good. What we need more is encouragement in the middle of difficult times. God knows this about us and gave us some wonderful encouragement in His Word, and from this I want to share with you three things.
First, while it is true that trouble is guaranteed, misery is an option. Jesus said, In the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. See, Jesus promised that there would be trouble in this life, but He gave us encouragement. The trouble may be inevitable, but Jesus wouldn’t have told us to take heart if misery was also inevitable. We can choose whether to be miserable or cheerful.
Second, when we listen to the right voices, we’ll make the right choices. What are the voices in your head saying to you? Do you need a set of spiritual cotton balls to plug in your ears while you run to scripture to hear God’s voice clearly? God’s voice is not the only one speaking to us, but He does speak to us, and when we listen to His voice then He helps us to stand firm in troubled times.
Third, attitude affects altitude. When Paul wrote our verses for today, life was hard for him. Everywhere he went, he was persecuted, unwelcome, beaten, stoned, whipped, imprisoned, shipwrecked, left for dead, and more. Yet he refused to let anything that happened to him in this life take his eyes off of his reward in Heaven. Instead, he turned his focus inward and upward-inward to where God was daily renewing him, and upward to where his sufferings for Christ’s sake were continually increasing his eternal reward.
Are you facing trouble today? You’ve got good company. I have trouble. Paul had trouble. Even Jesus had trouble. The only question we have to answer now is, will we choose cheerfulness, will we listen to the right voices, and will we choose the right attitude.
Prayer Lord Jesus,
Thank You for encouraging me to take heart! Thank You that no matter what I face in this life, it’s temporary, You are with me, and I have greater things in store in the future. Please help me to change my heart and choose to be encouraged in these things today!