by Steven Chan
The possibility of becoming tired, wearied and discouraged in the Christian race is real. The Bible tells us to be aware of becoming weary and quitting the Christian faith or becoming unfruitful in our lives. The Lord commended the church at Ephesus for their labor for the gospel, perseverance, patience and not becoming weary.
“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary” (Rev 2:1-3)
What does the Bible say we should do when we feel wearied and discouraged?
- We should consider the perseverance of Jesus as He was faced with a hostile mob of sinners who succeeded in having Him crucified even though the governor Pontius Pilate declared that Jesus was not guilty of any of the charges made against Him.
The Bible says in Heb 12:3-4: “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.”
Are you discouraged because someone betrayed your trust or friendship? Jesus was also betrayed by one His chosen twelve. Yet, on the cross, he could say, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34). The Bible says that we have not resisted to bloodshed; all we suffered were heartaches and hurt feelings.
- We should pray for God to strengthen us.
In Luke 18:1, Jesus spoke a parable to them, “that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” In Isa 40:28-31 the Bible says: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” According to Eph 6:10, we ought to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” And God is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”( Eph 3:20)
- We should persevere because in due season we shall reap if we faint not.
Gal 6:7-9: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
We must sow to the Spirit and not become weary. The sower sowed the seed but not all will be receptive or grow. But there will be some who will respond positively and enthusiastically. So, we should just keep on keeping on.
- We should build close relationship with brethren of like-mindedness who will be able to encourage us.
The Bible warns in Heb 3:12-13: “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” “Exhorting one another” will prevent us from departing from God. That’s why the Bible says in Heb 10:24-25: “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another”. If we attend the regular assemblies of the saints, we will be able to encourage and be encouraged by one another.
The Bible says in Eccl 4:9-12: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
- Jesus sent the 70 out two by two (Luke 10:1). When the body is “joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, (it) causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love”(Eph 4:16)
We can encourage one another by saying the appropriate words to each other. The Bible says in Isa 50:4: “The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary.” Truly a word spoken in due season, how good it is! We need to speak “what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers”(Eph 4:29).
- We must understand that our present sufferings are nothing compared with the “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”
2 Cor 4:16-18: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart”(2 Cor 4:1). According to1 Cor 15:58, we should not give up because our work is not in vain: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
May we all encourage one another to keep on keeping on doing the work of God!