“Are You Ready to Give Up?” Good Morning Devo for 8.25.2021

August 25 (JPG)

Good morning! Ones who possess godly character are ones who ‘do not lose heart’ — a sentiment Paul first stated in 2 Corinthians 4:1. Paul received awful treatment and abuse about his inner character, but also received abuse from the punishment from persecutions on the outside — but he remained resilient on two fronts.

First, his inner nature is being renewed.  Paul is able to persevere and stay the course because of the renewal of his inner nature.  This is a good thing because his outer nature was wearing out not only due to age (for as soon as we are born, we are destined to die), but also to the fact that his ministry took an even greater toll on him.  It is possible to literally wear yourself out for God.

If there is one man you could say wore himself out for God, it was David Brainerd.  In fact, the library has a book by Jonathan Edwards on “The Life of Reverend David Brainerd,” who lived in Colonial America and ministered to the American Indians in the Northeast United States.  He ministered so vigorously and in such brutal conditions that he died at the age of thirty.  Robert Murray McCheyne, the great preacher from Scotland from centuries past, died at the age of 28.  Their bodies wasted away, but they totally expired doing God’s work with all their vigor. 

Another way Paul remained resilient was that he kept his heavenly home in mind.  Look at verse 17 and 18:  “For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.”

Notice the contrast.  First, the affliction of this life in contrast to the glory of the next.  That affliction is seen as ‘slight’ compared to the ‘weight’ or the mass of glory that awaits.  ‘Momentary’ is contrasted with the ‘eternality’ of the glory that awaits!  “Slight?”  “Momentary?”  This here shows Paul’s perspective, for in 2 Corinthians 11, Paul shows the extent of what he went through as a servant of God.

Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.  [25] Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea;  [26] on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers;  [27] in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.  [28] And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.  [29] Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?  [30] If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.  (2 Cor. 11:24-30).

Not only this, but Paul was also persecuted for his speech and how he did not speak with the world’s wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:3), plus he was also criticized for his ‘unimpressive appearance.’ 

Paul possessed a resilience fueled by the persevering work of the Spirit. It’s only through the Spirit that we can hold on! Are you ready to give up? Remember, it’s not how you hold on to Christ but how Christ holds on to you. He’s got you, dear Christian. Never give up!


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