Pastor's Blog

We Never Give Up

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Two times in 2 Corinthians 4, Paul says rather defiantly, “we never give up.” (NLT) In the ESV it is translated this way...“we do not lose heart.”

What might possibly tempt Paul to “give up”?

Well, things were hard. Serving Christ is not always easy.

The first time he says that “we never give up” is in 2 Corinthians 4:1. 

Look at how Paul describes his situation starting in verse 8. “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but not destroyed.”

Wow! Pressed on every side by troubles...perplexed...hunted down...knocked down. Can you relate to any of these feelings? 

So, what is it that causes Paul to defiantly say, “we never give up”?

Paul understands the upside-down wisdom of Christ. When we suffer, the life of Jesus shines through us. He says in verse 10, “Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.”

The very thing that is causing you to think about giving up may be the very thing that God will use to shine his glory through your life.

Paul says it again in verse 16, “we never give up.” 

What is it that is causing him to endure this time? Paul recognizes two positive truths about the problems he is facing. 

First, our troubles are relatively short in comparison to the glory that awaits us. But even more promising, enduring through our struggles is being used by God to produce an eternal glory!

The very thing that may cause you to want to give up is the very thing God is using for your eternal good. 

How can we make sure not to lose sight of these things? How can we make sure we too don’t give up when things get hard?

Paul says in verse 16 that he is “being renewed every day.”  I find that I need this daily reminder because often these things that make us want to throw in the towel and quit don’t easily go away.

He also adds in verse 18, “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather we fix our gaze on the things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

What about you? What is causing you to want to give up? What is causing you to lose heart? Be encouraged and see the opportunity in it. 

These troubles that are pressing in from every side are the best opportunity you have to let the light of Christ shine through you. 

Through these challenging moments, God is accomplishing an eternal glory that vastly outweighs our struggles.

Be faithful. God is at work. “We never give up!”

An Appeal to U.N.I.T.Y.

Paul begins his first letter to the Corinthians with an appeal to unity.

“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ...be united.”  (1 Corinthians 1:10)

Jesus said that our unity is critical to our witness to the world. It is our love for one another that demonstrates to the world that we are followers of Jesus.

But it is not always easy. Maintaining unity can be a fragile thing. 

Divisions...sexual immorality...differences of opinion...issues of worship...and doctrinal issues all threatened the unity of the church in Corinth. It all sounds rather contemporary.

This fall, we are going to spend time in 1 Corinthians 1-4. As Paul makes his appeal to unity, he appeals to five actions we need to take to help us maintain our unity in Christ.

U – Unceasing gratitude
N – Never lose sight of the cross
 I  – Impart the wisdom of Christ
T – Together we build
Y – Yield to instruction

Join us for the sermon series: An Appeal for U.N.I.T.Y.
Sunday, September 12 to October 17

Enjoy the video above...a great way to help you get a head start on the book of 1 Corinthians. 

A Gospel Presence in a Post-Christian Area

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What is a “post-Christian” city?  It is a city where the fewest number of people follow Christian beliefs and practices, based on a few key factors.

Take, for example, the Springfield/Holyoke area right up the road from us. This region is considered the most “post-Christian” city in the country.

How so?

  • 60% never made a commitment to Jesus
  • 65% hadn’t been to church recently (pre-COVID)
  • 87% hadn’t read a Bible in the past week
  • 40% indicated that faith is not an important part of their life

Here is a list of the top ten “post-Christian” cities in America.

  1. Springfield/Holyoke, MA – 66%
  2. Portland/Auburn, ME – 60%
  3. Providence, RI/Bedford, MA – 59%
  4. Burlington, VT – 59%
  5. Boston, MA/Manchester, NH – 57%
  6. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY – 56%
  7. Hartford-New Haven, CT – 56%
  8. Rochester, NY – 55%
  9. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo, CA – 54%
  10. Seattle-Tacoma, WA – 54%

This news does not catch New Englanders by surprise. Nor should this news cause us to fret.  Instead, it should motivate us to pray, serve and evangelize. 

Perhaps you never thought you would be living on the “mission field.” But you are!

It also makes me grateful for what God is doing in Wethersfield.

This coming Sunday, four churches from Wethersfield will come together to worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Even though we live in a region that is the seventh most “post-Christian” city-region in the country, we worship in a town that has four gospel-centered churches. 

We will be joining First Church of Wethersfield, LifeWay Church, and a new church plant in Wethersfield, Generation Church.

Join us this coming Sunday at 10:00 am for an outdoor worship service at Wethersfield Cove Park, State Street, Wethersfield.

It is a great opportunity to give testimony to our community that God is here and that they too can come to know the hope we have in Jesus.

 

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