How to Live with Vital Optimism or, How Not to Lose Heart in Hard Times or, Living Confidently when the Challenges Are Great
August 30, 2020
A Chapter a Day
- Sunday, August 30, 2 Corinthians 8
- Monday, August 31, 2 Corinthians 9
- Tuesday, September 1, 2 Corinthians 10
- Wednesday, September 2, 2 Corinthians 11
- Thursday, September 3, 2 Corinthians 12
- Friday, September 4, 2 Corinthians 13
- Saturday, September 5, Philemon 1
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4 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. . . . 16So we do not lose heart. . . . 6So we are always of good courage. . . . 8Yes, we are of good courage . . .. (2 Corinthians 4:1, 16; 5:6, 8; ESV)
Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. . . . 16 That is why we never give up. . . . 6 So we are always confident, . . . . 8 Yes, we are fully confident, . . .. (NLT)
When might we be tempted to lose heart?
- When others are , even though they are not living .
2But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. (2 Corinthians 4:2, ESV)
- When is .
3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4, ESV)
- When are .
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; (2 Corinthians 4:7-9, ESV)
- When we are experiencing physical .
16So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, (2 Corinthians 4:16a, ESV)
How do we cultivate vital optimism?
- We reaffirm our in the gospel and the of our relationship with Jesus Christ.
5For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:5-6, ESV)
- Even as our “ self” declines, we focus on the development of our “ self.”
16So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16, ESV)
- We learn to with a longer-term, perspective.
17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18, ESV)
- We cultivate our life in the .
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 5:1-5, ESV)
16But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:16-18, ESV)
- We find encouragement in the fact that when our earthly journey ends, we will be “ with the Lord.”
6So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:6-8, ESV)
- We find our deepest purpose and our greatest joy in the Lord.
9So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. (2 Corinthians 5:9, ESV)
- We remember that God knows, God cares, and God will one day all who follow Jesus and live for his glory.
10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10, ESV)