Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 4
“We do not lose heart.” —2 Corinthians 4:16, NASB
“So here we all are, 150 years after feminism began to profoundly affect our culture. We have the highest number of single adults ever recorded in our nation’s history, in the church and outside of it. We have nearly the same rate of divorce in the church as outside of it. And we have several generations of confused men who have been told their masculinity is the very reason for women’s oppression—exactly the opposite of what the Bible teaches about the complementarity of the sexes and the Christlike model of servant-leadership that men are to cultivate for the benefit of the church, their wives, and their families.” —Carolyn McCulley1
Do you ever find yourself feeling discouraged by the darkness of the culture around you—maybe even by your own surroundings at home or in the workplace? Often it appears that we Christians are so behind in the culture war that we might as well throw in the towel.
Paul may have been tempted at times to look at the hedonism of Rome and wonder if the little band of new Christians could be any match for the godless culture of the most powerful empire known to man. Did his heart ever tremble with fear or discouragement? Twice in 2 Corinthians 4 Paul exhorts the believers living in the sexually immoral culture of Corinth to not lose heart. What was the source of Paul’s courage?
The English phrase “lose heart” in today’s key verse is translated from a strong Greek term that refers to losing courage or even cowardly surrender. Admittedly, for Christian women living in a predominately post-Christian world, this is a common temptation. But we must not give up; we must not lose heart. Too much is at stake, and our Captain is worthy of our undying service.
How can we find courage in such hostile times? Paul gives us the answer in the final verse of chapter 4. “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” (NASB).
Living with an eternal perspective, focusing on God’s kingdom, knowing that earthly life is temporary and that He has called us to reflect His glory in our world—this perspective infuses us with strength and courage to persevere, even in the face of great darkness.
Take Time to Reflect
Meditate on 2 Corinthians 4. Have you grown weary and become discouraged in your Christian walk, your marriage, your parenting, or any other area of your life? Use this passage to focus on the truth. Ask God to give you His eternal perspective on your situation. And remember that it is in His power, not your own, that victory will be achieved.
True Woman Prayer Focus
True Woman ’08 is less than three weeks away! Pray for your sisters in Christ who will be attending the conference. Ask God to do a powerful work in the life of each woman, to meet her needs and give her a fresh sense of His calling and mission for her life.
Pray for women’s hearts to be encouraged and strengthened by the conference messages—that we will all be doers of the Word and not hearers only. Pray that we will have courage to stand on the truth of Scripture, whatever that may require—“for such a time as this."