God has designed life so that we must be daily dependent upon Him.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not“ (II Corinthians 4:1). To faint in this sense is to release or let go of something that has been held in our hands.
Charles Spurgeon took as a motto for his Pastors’ College, “To hold and to be held.” The Bible says in Hebrews 4:14, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” As we are held by the Lord, we hold to belief and trust in Christ.
Moses gave these words from God to the children of Israel just before they were allowed to enter the Promised Land:
When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. – Deuteronomy 20:1-4
More specifically, Moses said in verse 8 of the same chapter, “And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart.”
The prophet Isaiah wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
He giveth power to the faint;
and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.- Isaiah 40:29-31
The Lord Jesus taught His disciples in Luke 18:1, “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” We face a terrible enemy. God’s Word says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8). In II Corinthians, Paul is sharing “the testimony of his conscience.” Our precious Lord wants us to know why we should not faint.
WE HAVE RECEIVED MERCY.
“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not” (II Corinthians 4:1).
Compare this thought with what God’s Word says in Ephesians 4:32, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
WE HAVE RENOUNCED THE HIDDEN THINGS OF DISHONESTY.
“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (II Corinthians 4:2).
WE ARE RENEWED IN OUR INNER MAN DAY BY DAY.
Take the time to read II Corinthians 4. Think about the Apostle Paul writing to this church, and then consider how God used this man to communicate His message to us.
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. – II Corinthians 4:3-18
The Christian life is an ascending life. God works in us so that we can see beyond the things that are seen. As we are renewed in our inner man day by day, our spirit grows stronger and stronger even as our physical bodies succumb to age. God’s Word says in Proverbs 4:18, “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
This is no time to give up. I must keep my eyes on my Saviour. The strongest day of my life will be the day I leap into the arms of the Lord Jesus Christ.
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