How to Live Without Losing Heart - Part 1

by Wayne Barber

One of the worst things that can happen to a believer is to lose heart. I would like, in the next several articles, to talk about "How to live without losing heart." Paul brings up the subject in verse 1 of chapter 4 of 2nd Corinthians: "Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart." 

The phrase "we do not lose heart" must be understood. "Lose heart" is one word in the Greek: ekkakéo\, from ek, "out of" and kak\s, "that which is evil and bad." Kak\s speaks of our wicked flesh. It was used of a soldier who turned coward in battle and turned back. The idea of the word here in Second Corinthians is that Paul, as a servant of a new covenant, is determined not to turn back or resort to trusting in his flesh—his own adequacy.

Paul had had enough of doing things his own way (cf. 2 Cor. 3:5). For years he spent his life as a Pharisee and knew what it meant to live trying to please both God and man. But now he is a believer in Jesus Christ and has come to understand a brand new paradigm of living. He now realizes that the Christian life is impossible to live, except for Christ who lives through us in the person of His Holy Spirit.

So, losing heart is when a believer turns back to doing things his own way. When this happens, the believer shuns the strength of Christ living in him and therefore becomes fainthearted because the flesh is never the answer. It is ignorant and it is impotent.

I believe that when one is walking in the Spirit there is no such thing as burnout! Weariness? Yes, but not burn out! Christ lives in us to do through us what the flesh could never do! So, losing heart is when one turns back to the flesh to doing things his own way!

A leading symptom of one's losing heart is described by our Lord in Luke 18:1: "Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart."  The symptom in this passage is prayerlessness. Society is slowly but surely rotting away around us because of the sinful flesh of mankind. We can easily become weary and lose heart over the condition of our world around us if prayerlessness is our problem.

Prayer expresses a deep desire of the heart to God. It is the verbal expression of our total dependence upon God no matter how good or how bad times are! The way we pray; the time we spend in prayer; the attitude we have in prayer; these tell us much about whether or not we are trusting God in our life.

Believers who have lost heart are those who have forgotten that Christ not only lives in us, but wants us to join Him in what He is doing. Prayer is His way of drawing us into what He is doing! In Luke 18 Jesus teaches the need for persistence in prayer through the parable of the widow and the wicked judge. This parable isn't about wicked judges or desperate widows; it is about the fact that if the wicked judge had to be pestered to be faithful to what he said he would do, then what would our heavenly Father do? It is about praying for those rightful things that God promises in His Word that are ours in Christ and counting on His faithfulness to do what He said He would do!

If we come before our righteous Father we can always expect Him to be faithful to His Word. He will do exactly what He says He will do!  This is what keeps us always trusting Him! His character is impeccable! And as a result of trusting Him even in the worst of times, we won't lose heart! Losing heart only comes when we turn back to taking matters into our own hands!

What about you, today? Have you lost heart? Have you stopped trusting God and are you now taking matters into your own hands and in the process becoming weak and fainthearted? He awaits you with open arms! Trust and obey, for there is no other way!

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