Nobody here wants to lose heart. Do you believe those words? Pastor Stacy wrote in his blog last week about going from my daughter Katy’s wedding on Saturday to the funeral of 22 month old Tyson. He was born with goldenhar syndrome and lived with more pain than we can imagine. Why do we do weddings and memorial services? I think it’s because we are looking for hope. We hope that a good marriage will come from the wedding and we hope that we can find something beyond the limits of life that will help us keep our hearts in times of tragedy.
Maybe you are reading this and your marriage is on the rocks, you might be thinking, “my heart’s just not in this anymore.” You’re losing heart. Maybe you’ve gone so long, doing what you want, when you want, to whomever you want and the fallout of filling your life with you is that people look at you and say, “You’re heartless.” You’ve lost your heart. Maybe it’s a dream that’s disappeared? A hurt that’s turned bitter? An on-going failure or overwhelming fear? Maybe you tried to accomplish something great for Jesus and you failed completely. Now you are wondering, “Where was God?” You are losing heart.
One of the dangers of the mess of life, whether it’s mess on the inside or the outside is that we can begin to lose heart and no one wants to lose heart. The mother who passes out in front of her children, who seems to love alcohol more than her family; the young man dying from aids, left alone by the man he though would stand by him no matter what; the PSU student who never got her father’s affirmation and now finds it far too easy to get into physical relationships with guys she’s not even sure she likes, none of them want to lose heart.
We want to be renewed, strong on the inside. We know that life is full of ups and downs, glory and mess but we don’t want to lose heart. Paul begins and ends 2 Corinthians 4:1-16 with the words, so we do not lose heart. And in between he writes these words in vs 7-10,
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
If I could summarize his message in a few words, I would simply say, “Don’t you dare quit.”
You have a treasure in your jar of clay. There is an unsurpassable power at work within you that you cannot even begin to fathom. You may be on the verge of the finishing the greatest race you have ever run. You may be on the verge of a celebration with friends that you never could have imagined. You may be on the verge of an experience that could develop your heart into the heart of a hero. Don’t you dare quit.
Sometimes life isn’t easy, but you have a treasure. Don’t you dare quit. The life Jesus offers, the identity you can receive because of his work, is worth the battle. Some times all it takes is getting up…one more time.