This is the second edition of our recap of Phil’s letters to our supporters about what to do in times of trouble. Today’s letter explains why we should “Not Lose Heart.”
2 Corinthians 4:1 says, “Therefore, since having this ministry by the mercy God, we do not lose heart.” As I said in my last letter the outlook for our world looks extremely dim. We could easily become weary in well doing. We lose heart. Yet we go to the Scriptures and what we know to be true in order to encourage ourselves. We know we shall reap. God will be exalted. We will be triumphant.
What is true?
- God chose me. He did not choose me out of a line-up, although that would have been appropriate. No, He chose me before I knew right or wrong, before I was a thought in my parents’ mind, before the foundation of the world. Why? Only God knows. But certainly it was out of His sovereign grace and abundant mercy. I am grateful.
Deuteronomy 7:6 “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”, John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit…”, Ephesians 1:4 “even as he chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him …”
After my first year on staff with Campus Crusade I struggled with why God had called me on staff. I had been a Christian for over 15 years, yet I still seemed to struggle with many of the same sins. I really questioned, “God, why am I doing this? Am I worthy?” It was as if God said, “Phil I know from where you have come, I know you now, I know you in the future. You will fail and disappoint Me then as well, but I still chose you. You are an instrument I can use for My glory.” That was a watershed moment for me. I realized God could use me, with all my blemishes, with all my failures and with all my inadequacies.
- I am Jesus’ friend. Friends stand up for one another. John 15:13, 14 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.”, John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”, I Thessalonians 1:6, 7 “And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.”
I have always wanted to be a first teamer. I want to be in the starting line-up. This goes for God as well. I know I have millions in front of me, but I don’t think God is limited by the number of players. If I am faithful, I can start and fill a unique role on the team. Christ is my Teammate, my Captain. He is my Friend, Redeemer, and Brother. How encouraging is that? God chose me and I am His friend! To God be the glory.
As always I want to thank you for your commitment to love, pray, serve, and give to this ministry. Keep striving and don’t lose heart. We are teammates for God’s glory and victory! And there are more reasons to be encouraged that will be discussed in the next letter.
In our Lord,