170528 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 May 2017 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Text: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Theme: Do Not Lose Heart

When was the last time you felt like giving up? Maybe it was when your team was down, and it didn't look like you had any chance of winning the game. Perhaps many parents have felt like giving up from time to time, as they are cleaning up one mess, and their children are right behind them making another. Even the strongest of Christians may find themselves having the kind of attitude that wants to simply give up. When our sin and the sin in our world makes life on this earth difficult for us, we may find ourselves thinking, "What's the use? I might as well give up!" It is at just these difficult times in our life that we need to return to the Word of God. The portion of God's Word before us today is a great place for all of us to turn to when we are experiencing the feelings of "throwing in the towel" and giving up. This morning our loving Savior-God comes to us in his holy Word and encourages each one of us: "Do not lose heart."

In his Word, the Lord does not try to "sugar-coat" things for us. In many places, the Bible speaks about the difficult, hard life we will have to go through as we live out our days here on this earth. Remember what God said to Adam and Eve after their fall into sin? "To the woman God said, 'I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children'. . . To Adam he said, 'Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, "You must not eat of it," 'Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."' Here in 2 Corinthians, Paul writes that "outwardly we are wasting away." And he goes on to say in the next verse that we will have troubles in this life.

This certainly was not God's plan for the world when he first created it. At the end of creating all things we are told that everything was perfect. But soon after that, mankind brought sin into the world. When it did, it destroyed God's once perfect creation. Because of the sin that is in our world today our lives are filled with troubles, heartaches and pain. What is worse, because of our sins we deserve only one thing from a holy and just God; and that is to be sentenced to an eternity in the fires of hell. Our sins had separated us from our God and because of them we deserved only his wrath and punishment.

Despite the sinful condition we find ourselves in, our gracious God says to us, "do not lose heart." Do not lose heart because "our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." We can get through difficult times in our lives because we know the promise God made to send a Savior. Again, it was back in the Garden of Eden when God made his promise. He said to the devil, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

And the Lord God kept his promise. God the Father sent his one and only Son to be your Savior and mine. Jesus allowed the devil to "strike his heel" as he suffered and died on the cross. But when our Savior rose again in great victory on Easter Sunday, he crushed the devil's head. The resurrection of Jesus assures you and me that through his perfect blood that he shed on the cross all of your sins and mine are forgiven. Because Jesus Christ rose from the dead and 40 days later ascended into heaven, you and I are able to "fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen." Why? Paul answers, "For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." I know that when we are going through hard times they don't feel "light" or "momentary." But the good news for you and me to remember during difficult days is that they will one day come to an end. So, clinging to the cross and the empty grave of our Savior, Jesus Christ, you and I are able to look forward to a life that never ends at his side in the perfect joys of heaven where there will be no more sin or the effects of sin.

Because on this side of heaven life will not be perfect, there will be challenges and difficulties you and I will have to face. But, in the face of all that the sinful world sends our way, God's Word before us today has good news for each one of us to hear. Listen again to that good news, "Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." Therefore, my dear Christian friends, do not lose heart! Amen.


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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.


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