One of the greatest challenges Christians face as they seek to serve God, whether through the use of a God given gift or simply doing what needs to be done, is that of losing heart. Our theme verse found in Galatians 6:10 is preceded by these words, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9). As many have come to realize, this is sometimes easier said than done. So how can we combat this attitude?
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you. . . 1st Peter 4:12
One of the first things to realize about our Christian journey is that we will face trials, even though we are seeking to do God’s will. Peter would go on in v12 saying such trials should not be viewed “as though some strange thing happened to you.” As we serve those around us, especially those in the world, we should not be surprised if we encounter difficulty: criticism, lack of appreciation and the list goes on. Our attention needs to be focused elsewhere.
…but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 1st Peter 4:13
When our expectations are dashed, and disappointment grabs hold of us, it is all too easy to relinquish how we feel to the sinful nature within us. This is why Peter would say “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters” (1st Peter 4:15). Don’t go down to the world’s level! Instead, our attention should be towards the future and the joy we will have when He comes to bring us home. This is why Paul would exhort us saying, “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:17, 21).
As Christians, we will be confronted with disappointment, people not responding the way we hope they would or thought they would as we shine the light of Christ in their lives. So, as challenging as it may seem, let us cling to our calling that “if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter” (1st Peter 4:16). May He strengthen us all to walk the walk, just as He did, even to the point of death. Thank you Jesus!