Come On—Get out of the Pit! 2 Corinthians 4.10-18
So, given that discouragement will come our way at some point, I have a few thoughts about climbing out of the pit. Remembering that Paul wrote from his own experience, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
Paul remembered in the nighttime (of discouragement) what he knew to be true in the daylight. Each ‘but’ statement shows that he answered each scenario with truth . . . an empowering choice to make. >Have some statements of truth ready to counter the bombs that come your way—especially at nighttime when you are weary. (such as “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4.13)
Paul remembers his mission, as he writes to the church at Corinth: “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So
we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4.10-18
Paul’s mission, Paul’s purpose was clear—to him and to everyone who knew him. It kept him on point - do you know what I mean? Are you just drifting through your life, just letting life happen to you? If so, when you hit a bump in the road, that explains why you are easily thrown off your course. Even in discouragement, Paul kept his eyes on the horizon so that he would not be thrown off course. It was always about Jesus with Paul ~ So that by all means he could point people to the good news of Jesus Christ
>Stop thinking about yourself so much, and instead turn your focus toward God. “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”1 Get your focus on God, and God-oriented solutions to life’s situations.
>Ask for help, specifically wisdom from God.2
>Retrain your thinking—move from worry and complaining to thanksgiving and praise.3,4
To quote a famous philosopher, "You gotta put your behind in the past... I mean your past behind you." ~ Hakuna Matata
>Put your past behind you. We learn more from Paul about his modus operandi-- “…one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”5 While the past cannot be changed, our view toward it can. We can accept the mercy of God and allow it to transform us—choosing to cast our gaze forward and heavenward, rather than always looking backward over our shoulder. After all, this world is not our home; we are just passing through, on our way to Gloryland! Look beyond, look forward and look toward your eternal home, for this life is just a flash in the pan by comparison.
So, by way of review, do not lose heart—choose to be a champion. Be intentional.
1. Have truth statements ready to counter negative thinking
2. Know your mission--your one thing (your purpose) and stay on track
3. Correct your focus: from yourself~>to God
4. Ask God for wisdom.
5. Change your thinking to that which is thankful and praiseworthy6
6. Let go of your past
7. Think about Heaven daily
In closing, be encouraged by David’s words--
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40.1-3
Print this out - underline and highlight what you need to apply to your life. Grab ahold of the words of God, the very power of God and let it transform you, starting today. Go ahead, Run to the Father!
1 - Hebrews 12.1-2
2 - James 1.5 – If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
3 - 1 Thessalonians 5.18 – Give thanks always…
4 – Psalm 66
5 – Philippians 3.13-14
6 - Philippians 4.8