May 2 Reflections

In the midst of discouragement have you ever “lost heart?” Losing heart is the idea of discouragement…sadness…depressed…cannot succeed…to be demoralized.  Problems can do that. The problem begins to make you think you can never win. You are always going to be on the losing end. It is helpful to know that life is hard, and God is good. But I also think it is important to know that love wins…life wins…that in the end connected to Christ we will win, and that glory is coming.

Imagine with me that you had to miss one of the games of your favorite football team. You used the DVR and recorded it to watch later. You tried hard not to know the outcome until you could watch the recording. You knew it was going to be a hard-fought game. As you prepare to sit down later that night you inadvertently see a twitter feed with the score. The team you were cheering for won 28-27. A big win in a close game. You decide you still want to watch it. You know the outcome. You are confident because your team wins. But as you watch the game you wonder how. They fall behind early, 21-0. It is almost halftime before they score. Going into halftime it is 21-7. Still behind but they did make it on the board. You are not worried because you know the outcome. As the 2nd half begins the starting quarterback on your team goes down with an injury. It looks like he is done for the day. You are thinking how is it possible that my team wins? But you know they do…so still not worried. The other team scores first in the 2nd half but misses the extra point. 27-7 halfway through 2nd half. Still not worried or frazzled because you know the final score. Your team makes a comeback and with 1 minute left in the game trail 27-21. You do not know how, but you are still confident because you know the final score. Otherwise, you would have been nervous, but now a confidence. They will win. And they do with a couple of incredible plays toward the end they cross the goal line with no time left on the clock. The extra point is coming. Before you would have closed your eyes and could not watch, but now you watch with a certain knowing that it is going through…and it does 28-27 is the final score.

When you know the outcome of something even if there are continual trials, struggles and problems you live (watch the game) with a certain confidence. That is what the Apostle Paul is teaching in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Even though life is hard, and it can be filled with problems, there is hope that we will win in the end. That hope is found in Jesus Christ, “because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:14). We do not lose heart, even if physically we are declining, because inwardly we are strong in the knowledge of who we are in Christ, and that glory is coming where we will see Jesus face to face. We are going to think about this on Sunday in the continuing series “A Life Perspective.” Life is hard because everything is broken. God is good. And now glory is coming so do not lose heart. Some scripture passages to read: 2 Corinthians 4:4-18; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Revelation 21:1-7.

Grace upon Grace,

Verlyn