Ups and Downs of Christian Life -- Trusting God in Hard Times

Christians Have their Ups and Downs so the Keys to Overcoming is to Never Lose Heart or Grow Weary

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Sometimes there seems to be more month than money, and it is nerve-racking trying to figure out what bills to pay now, and which ones can wait another week. It can be frustrating prioritizing how much to spend on food, or gasoline, and if there is anything left over, how to allocate it -- make an extra payment on a debt, rent a movie, get new shoes, or go to the dentist.

Perhaps there are things being left undone around the house, or with the car. One of the kids is behind in their schoolwork, or maybe there is tension with a co-worker on the job. God knows there are times of exasperation, discouragement, even feelings of despair. Sometimes life feels like a roller coaster of ups and downs, and other times like a merry-go-round, going around and around but seemingly getting nowhere.

Trusting God in hard times can certainly have its obstacles, but God's Word encourages believers to persevere, and not to allow mental or physical weariness to prevail. Do not faint, do not lose heart, but, as Joshua 1:9 says, “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

The adversary tries to wear people down, and especially Christians who are trying to do God's will. The “course of this world” (Ephesians 2:2), in “this present evil age” (Galatians 1:4) causes erosion to people's dreams and aspirations, just like streams of water running through a valley over the span of thousands of years that cut away the earth.

In Matthew 9:36, Jesus had been going city to city, teaching, preaching and healing people. “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” The Greek word translated weary implies more than just people being physically tired. Its deeper meaning is that their hearts and souls were wounded, as if they had been flayed and lacerated, and the word for scattered literally means thrown down. These people coming to be healed by Jesus were just like people of today: beat up, torn apart, and worn out.

No matter what the current circumstances, each day is a new day, and every day steps can be taken to improve the situation, however small those steps may seem. Add, change, delete, as each problem or challenge requires, but don't faint. In the New Testament, there are a few verses that convey this message. The Greek word translated faint in KJV and weary in NKJV is a word that literally means to turn out to be a coward, to become despondent, to lose heart because of trials or evils, or from moral weakness.

The first usage is in Luke 18:1, where Jesus teaches a parable, making the point “that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” Jesus went on to teach about a widow who persevered in her cause before the local judge, and because of her tenacity, he took action on her behalf.

In 2 Corinthians 4:1, it says that “since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.” Just as God's grace is always sufficient, God's unfailing mercy is always enough so that Christians shouldn't quit serving in the ministry. Later in chapter 4, Paul writes, “We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you.” (4:14 NLT)

Christians have the promise of resurrection life, the hope of reigning in the future with Jesus Christ. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16) Though the physical body is aging, the “inward man” of Christ inside never gets old and weary. Staying spiritually healthy and enthusiastic for Jesus Christ must become a priority.

There are choices to make every day, decisions regarding seemingly small matters, and not so small matters in life. Galatians 6:7-9 remind the believer that whatever a man sows is what he reaps. “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” .

It is vital to conscientiously sow good seed daily, spiritually speaking, in order to reap a Godly spiritual harvest. Because there is always time between sowing seed and reaping the harvest, God's Word again encourages the Christian to not lose heart. “But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

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Written by: Pete Miller