- Cedar Centre
Do you ever get fed up? Maybe as you read this now you’re feeling discouraged. Or quite possibly over the past few days you've been feeling a bit low. Owing to the ongoing Lockdown here in Auckland some of us might be feeling discouraged and even feel like we’re losing heart. Well if you are feeling discouraged or fed up you are not alone. When we read through the Book of Acts and some of the Letters in the New Testament, we quickly discover that even the great Apostle Paul along with the first followers of Jesus were very tempted to lose heart and get discouraged. They faced all sorts of problems and difficulties such as arrest, imprisonment, beatings, sickness, famines and poverty. Therefore, Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth these encouraging words: ‘We do not lose heart.’ Or as The Message Version of the Bible puts it, ‘We do not throw up our hands and walk off the job’ (2 Corinthians 4:1). Paul then gives the reason why we shouldn’t feel discouraged. He writes about the wonderful 'treasure’ that Christians have received by the Holy Spirit (v7). What is this ’treasure?’ It is the unseen, powerful and beautiful inward message of Jesus that lives deep within the Christian person’s heart. Our western society is so obsessed with physical outward beauty and with the trappings of outward success. But the Bible turns the world’s way of thinking upside down and directs our attention to ’spiritual inner beauty and treasure'. God is more interested with what’s on the inside of our lives not outward appearances. God places high value on what we believe, our thoughts, our attitudes and the way we behave and speak to others. If you are feeling discouraged and fed up I encourage you to go on a spiritual ’treasure hunt.’ Spend some time over the weekend reading through some of Paul’s Letters reflecting on the amazing truths of what Christ has done for you (Ephesians is a very good Letter). Maybe take a walk with Jesus telling Him honestly and openly how you feel and tell him what’s going on. Write your own Psalm or prayer to God. Pray for others you know who might be feeling discouraged and flick them a txt, email, zoom or phone call. As Paul wrote, ‘But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We are always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our body.’ (2 Corinthians 2:7-9). And words from Psalm 27:14 for you: ‘Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.’ He aroha Te Atua! Kia whakapaingia Te Atua!! (God is Love. Praise be to God).