By God’s Grace I Will Not Quit

Larry Olsen describes a man lost in the desert: “He has been out of food and water for days. His lips are swollen, his tongue is swollen, he’s all beat up and bloody. Some of his bones are almost peeking through. He has been scraped and beat up by the cactus, sand and sun. H … More

Discouragement

Physically, the demands of the ministry were sometimes almost more than Paul could bear (1:8;11:23-27). However, even  more draining were the spiritual demands (7:5;11:28-29). He reflects on these experiences in this passage and tells why, though discouraged, he will never quit (v. 1).

One source of discouragement to Paul was the false teachers in the church at Corinth. He was no doubt referring to these Judaizers when he wrote these words (v. 2). Many false teacher claim to base their doctrine on the Word of God, but false teachers handle God’s Word in deceptive ways. Satan will do everything in his power to keep lost sinners in the dark and often he uses religious teachers  to deceive people. Even today, many of the people who belong to false cults were originally members of Gospel preaching churches. If there is anything hidden about our message, it is hidden only to someone who is lost (v. 3). The god who rules this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers. (v. 4). They cannot see the light, which is the good news about our glorious Christ, who shows what God is like.

These Judaizers enjoyed preaching about themselves and bragging about their achievements (10:12-18). They were not servants who tried to help people but instead they were out to take advantage of people. Paul made it plain that the reason he served the church and openly proclaimed the gospel  was because of God’s work in his life (v. 5). When Paul preached he did not say, “Look at me!” He said, “Look at Jesus Christ, and there you will see the glory of God come to earth in a form that a man can understand” (v. 6). How could he ever get discouraged and quit when he was involved in such a wonderful ministry?

Application

When I find myself getting discouraged and wanting to quit, I need to think on what I have in Jesus Christ. Instead of complaining about what I do not have, I need to rejoice in what I do have.

II Corinthians 4:1-6 (English Standard Version)

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But 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. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In 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. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For 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.

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