“We do not lose heart” (2 Corinthians 4:1, 18)

Dear Church,
One of my Bible readings for today was 2 Corinthians 4 in which Paul reflects on his ministry, his weakness, but also the glory of God, of Christ and the  eternal hope of the gospel. Let me encourage you to take some time to read it in the next few days. The chapter begins and ends with the phrase ‘we do not lose heart’, which strikes me as a necessary word for us right now. Why should we as Christians not lose heart in the face of Coronavirus or any other challenge to our lives or Christian witness? Paul would say, we do not lose heart because:

We have been given the glorious gospel to share (v2-5) – so that even when people around us still refuse the good news, God has given us the privilege of seeing and savouring the true glory of Jesus Christ

God has made us a new creation in Christ (v6) – God has harnessed his creative power to make us new creations in Christ, causing the light of God’s glory seen in Jesus to take us from darkness to light

We are weak, but He is strong (v7-12) – ministry is not done in personal strength but in weakness as we depend on the God of grace. Following Jesus  involves suffering and cross-carrying, and as we follow the pattern of Christ we receive all-surpassing power from God

We have the hope of the resurrection (v13-15) – united to Christ by faith, we share in his resurrection life and anticipate eternal glory in his presence. We can die to self as we serve Christ because there is a far greater reward in store

We have the weight of glory ahead of us (v16-18) – what a wonderful perspective: to weigh all our suffering and trials in a ‘balance’ and compare it with the eternal weight of glory promised us. To fix our eyes on eternity is the best way to view our present crisis.

In the middle of uncertainty, fear and isolation ‘we do not lose heart’. These are momentary troubles. We look to Jesus and his glory, by faith we consider eternal joy in his presence the ‘anchor’ we cling to.

Yours in Christ,

James