“For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people, it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:15-16
The other day as I was preparing for today’s post, I noticed that Paul repeats the phrase “we do not lose heart…” two different times in 2 Corinthians Chapter 4.
What a powerful reminder that we all need to hear these days: do not lose heart!
Are the times in which we are living troubling, disheartening, and concerning? Sure they are!
But so were the times in which Paul lived.
Here are a few glimpses into the culture and climate in which Paul lived, all taken from this one chapter:
Vs 2 – We renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly…
Vs 4 – The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Vs 8-9 – We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Vs 17 – For our light and momentary troubles…
Sound a little familiar?
I know a few of you are feeling pretty hard pressed these days. You’re not alone. Paul had those same feelings at times.
Yet in the midst of all of his struggles and trials, Paul tells us not to lose heart!
We must cling to this truth; God is ALWAYS at work!
So let’s look at today’s verses a little closer and see how gratitude plays an important part in helping us not lose heart when we feel our world around us is crumbling.
God is always working in our lives for our benefit. That doesn’t mean our lives will be easy. Nor will all our prayers be answered the way that we want. But what we do know is we serve a good and loving Father who graciously extends grace upon grace on our behalf.
And as His grace increases to more and more people, so does gratitude.
Because how can you not be grateful when you experience His amazing grace?!
As our awareness increases so does our gratitude, and as our gratitude for what Jesus has done for us increases, our desire to live lives that bring glory to His name – rather than our own – increases too.
When we begin to understand God’s amazing grace… to really embrace His grace, His love, His forgiveness… it changes us from the inside out.
It fixes our vision.
We see our lives differently, and our focus becomes clearer.
No longer do we focus our eyes on us, our successes, our failures, our pain, our happiness…
Once we embrace gratitude in our lives, our lives begin to focus on Jesus.
The more grace, the more gratitude.
The more gratitude, the more glory to God.
God has amazing plans for our lives, but our lives are not to bring us glory, but to glorify the One who made us… our Creator, Redeemer and good, good Father.
So do not lose heart, sweet friend. In today’s changing world now is the time to shine for Jesus!
He purposefully created you for this time in history. Don’t shrink back! Embrace His grace and contrary to the world around us, choose to live your life in gratitude. TOGETHER, let’s glorify our Lord by living lives focused on Him!
Make no mistake, God is moving powerfully. Do not lose heart!
In the midst of the trial you are going through right now, you have the amazing opportunity to show those around you God’s power at work in your life!
When someone slanders you, betrays you, or opposes you, remember this truth: no one can destroy what God has accomplished through you.
Sweet friends, we are only here for a short time. Let’s focus our lives on what’s really important.
As God’s grace increases in our lives, so may our gratitude. And as our gratitude increases, so may the ways we bring glory to God through our lives.
More of you, Jesus, and less of me!
Love God Greatly!