Have you lost heart?
In the world today, many are experiencing discouragement. In fact, too many of us have been overcome by our circumstances, and we often decide to quit when things feel too big or impossible.
Furthermore, we live in a quit-cancel culture. So when we entertain offense, it often results in quitting our jobs, churches, and relationships.
I want to encourage you not to lose heart.
I know you have issues, and life has not gone how you want it to.
I know you don’t have as much money as you want or need and are behind in your bills.
I know your children (or your parents) are giving you hell.
Life is tough, and the devil wants you to quit. The apostle Paul recognized this, so he sent a letter to the church of Ephesus. And do you know what gave him the authority to edify and engage with them? He, too, was experiencing trials.
Don’t Lose Heart
Paul knew that everything he was going through would ultimately be for the Ephesians’ benefit.
Some of you are going through something in life where when you come out on the other side, God will empower you to help someone else experiencing the same hardship.
Don’t lose heart; you won’t just go through it; you will come out on the other side victorious!
Ephesians 3:13, NKJV says, “Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.”
I must pause for a grammar review. You see, anytime you see the word, therefore, you must as yourself, “What is it there for?”
Therefore is a conjunction (a word that joins what is about to be said with what has already been told), so to understand the context of what Paul is saying, we must read this passage in its entirety.
Anointed By God (Ephesians 3:8)
“To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,”
Ephesians 3:8, NKJV
Out of all who are preaching and teaching in the first-century church, Paul declares he is the least qualified. Nevertheless, he recognizes that God has given him the grace to preach to the Gentiles, making his testimony stand out.
Mystery of God
“And to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;”
Ephesians 3:9, NKJV
From the beginning of time, the mystery of God had been hidden. Now that Paul is anointed to advance the kingdom of heaven, he is able to help the Gentiles see and have fellowship with God.
God’s Anointed Church
“to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,”
Ephesians 3:10, NKJV
Not only did Paul carry revelation in his anointing, but God also declares He is anointing His church to make known the mystery of heaven. Therefore, we are called to make known to all principalities and powers (or demons and spirits against the kingdom of God) the mystery of God in the spirit realm!
Accomplished Through Christ
“according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,”
Ephesians 3:11, NKJV
Good news! This mysterious, eternal work has been accomplished through the work of Jesus on Calvary’s Hill.
So what is the mystery that will help us not lose heart?
We Have Access
“in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.”
Ephesians 3:12, NKJV
As believers, we are enabled not to lose heart because God has given us access.
Once, we were Gentiles who were not a part of the chosen family of God, but Jesus came along and did something spectacular that the law couldn’t accomplish. He made for us a way.
You can declare:
“I won’t lose hope because I have access.”
“I will not partner with discouragement because I have access.”
“God has given me the ability to access Jesus with confidence!”
Boldness and Confidence
When we come into the presence of God, we can let go of all shame, fear, and timidity. We don’t have to tiptoe our way in, but we can approach with boldness!
Why is this important?
Because the devil is always trying to persuade us that we aren’t qualified and don’t have the clearance to approach the throne of God. He replays everything that, under human circumstances, would discredit us, but Christ has credited you with His perfect righteousness.
You can now approach God in confidence, trust, and assurance. Hold your head high and wear the holiness and righteousness that Jesus has clothed you with.
Confidence Makes Us Do Crazy Things
Can you imagine how Noah must have looked building the ark on dry land?
Or how silly Moses must have looked stretching out his rod over the Red Sea with an army closely behind him?
How about Sarah, now 75 years old, who is waiting for God’s promise that she will one day be a mother?
How do you think David looked facing Goliath with nothing more than a slingshot and a few stones?
And lastly, what about Mary, a teenage girl who was now pregnant by an angel?
Confidence in the Lord makes you do crazy things.
However, it rained after Noah completed the ark.
The sea split in two, leaving dry land for the Israelites to escape on.
Sarah gave birth to a boy and started generations that would birth us the Messiah.
David killed Goliath.
Mary gave birth to Jesus.
Our obedience may look crazy to the world, but with confidence in the Lord, we have access to heaven.
My oldest daughter Sarah has had her share of trials in her life. More recently, Delaware University, where she was an assistant women’s basketball coach, experienced transition as the head coach accepted a job at Arizona State University. Now, she anticipated and hoped that the head coach would ask her to come along; however, come to find out, she wasn’t even in the running. So when the Athletic Director called to tell her this, the phone call actually turned into an interview for the new head coach opening.
During the phone call, Sarah inquired about why she wasn’t considered, to which the Athletic Director shared that they were looking for someone with head coach experience. Needless to say, Sarah got the head coach position.
When we seek God and invite Him into our worries and fear, He will give us access. So take your prayers to the One who knows what you need. And as you invite God into every aspect of your life, He will share His abundance, peace, and hope.