“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart”
if we do not lose heart
There are two stages to discouragement. First, we grow weary, then we “lose heart.” This second word for discouragement in this verse means to loose, release, to unloose, like a bowstring, to relax, and so, to enfeeble.
Christians can keep from becoming despondent if they keep their eye on the harvest. Losing heart carries “growing weary” to its end – dissolution, and disintegration in one’s life. We stop serving the Lord because we lose the power and dynamic to do it. Losing heart is the outcome of growing weary.
Both “growing weary” and “lose heart” carry the thought of giving up. The antithesis of giving up is persistence and hanging in there. Discouragement results from a failure of the will.
Losing heart is the outcome of discouragement.
We must never lose the vision of the harvest. If we lose that vision, all we will see is the hole in the doughnut. We will develop a negative attitude and be against any suggestion to advance the cause of Christ. We will acquire a cynical attitude so that everything is sour grapes. God does not use this kind of person.
Many of God’s people die bitter, older adults. They have allowed life to sour them. They permit criticism to defeat them. This plays right into the Devil’s hands. You will become cynical and censorious if you imbibe these attitudes. God always bypasses such people.
No Christian should allow himself to develop a defeatist attitude. “All I see around me are people fleeing from God. What use is there? Everything looks hopeless. I don’t see how I can make any difference.” We should follow the example of Christ’s tenacity,
“For consider Him [Jesus] who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:3-6 ).
We need to exclude from our lives anything that will deflect us from the vision of God’s harvest. We ought to find what God wants us to do to bring in the harvest and refuse to let anything get in the way. A tiny stream will make a big lake.
It is amazing how easily some of us give up. It takes very little to discourage us. Some of us imagine we are the only ones who are doing anything for the Lord. We think everything depends on us. Everyone else seems to be out of step or off base.
Do you get discouraged when people do not recognize your service? God recognizes everything you do. If we do things to get recognition from people, then we are off base. Everything we do, we must do as unto the Lord.
Sooner or later, you will be criticized for what you do for the Lord. It is impossible to do anything of significance without being criticized for it. Maybe your antagonist attacks you out of envy or sour grapes. It does not matter. A hundred people may approve of what you do and not say anything. Yet one person may criticize you, and it will throw you off balance. If you’re serving the Lord, you let the criticism roll off your back. You will not allow it to discourage you.
It seems the only way to avoid criticism is to do nothing, but you will be criticized even for that! People will always find some way to criticize you, so why do you live by trying to please people? We can always come up with some excuse, “I am too tired, too old, too weak, too immature, too uneducated, too young, too something.”
Some people lose heart in their prayer life (Luke 18:1). Some lose heart in ministry (2 Corinthians 4:1). God puts these people on the shelf. He discards them for service and passes them by. They miss out on God’s blessing.
“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart….But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:1, 7-10).