What causes you to lose heart? We may face a number of situations that can cause us to lose heart. When I was in the military our instructors were adept at causing the recruits to lose heart so they could weed out those who lacked the ability to persevere under pressure.

As you go through life, you will encounter challenges that at times will cause you to lose heart. You may feel that you’re knocking yourself out but it doesn’t make a difference. It’s during those times that you need to develop the strength of character to respond with courage and resolve when you face difficult situations. The Apostle Paul gives us beneficial advice,

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. (Galatians 6:9)

Paul reminds us that if you “hang in there” it will work out – but don’t let up. Many times our problem is we give up too soon. There are a number of admonitions in the New Testament encouraging us not to give up. Here’s a representative sample:

Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, (Luke 18:1)

Jesus was encouraging His disciples to persevere because they have a faithful God who hears and answers our prayers.

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, (2 Corinthians 4:1)

In one of his most personal letters, the Apostle Paul reminds the Corinthians of their calling to continue on in difficult situations. You must remember that failure is not final unless you stop trying.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)

Paul closes this chapter with a consolation that although our outer man may be suffering we are being renewed in the inner man.

Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. (Ephesians 3:13)

When we have God’s perspective, we learn that He can use our tribulations for our greater good and for the proclamation of the Gospel.

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. (2 Thessalonians 3:13)

We must realize that our example of perseverance can be a great encouragement to others. Great endurance is essential to great achievement. Calvin Coolidge reveals the importance of determination, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” May we follow Paul’s example of determination,

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

RickAssociate Pastor – Discipleship.  The Church at LifePark

Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University

Follow me on twitter:  rickhiggins5