I am getting older.
As I look to the future, I don’t want to become spiritually tired. Physically tired is going to happen. But if God allows me to live a long time, I want to go out, with a greater passion for Jesus and the gospel, than I had at the beginning.
If there’s one person you might think had an excuse for slowing down and giving up, it might have been the apostle Paul. When you look at his ministry, it seems like all he faced were challenges. And yet, Paul didn’t lose heart.
What kept him going?
Obviously, the Holy Spirit.
But in terms of Paul, what kept him from growing discouraged?
In Ephesians 3:7-13 we find five convictions that drove Paul and that must grip us if we are going faster and faster in the face of difficulties.
1. The message matters more than me.
Paul describes himself as a servant of the gospel.
2. It’s a gift to be able to do anything for Jesus.
In spite of all the suffering he faced, Paul describes his ministry as a gift from God, and as a demonstration of God’s grace.
3. I am nothing and I deserve nothing.
The fact that God saved him never got old to Paul. He describes himself in this passage as the very least of all the saints.
4. Jesus is more valuable than anything.
Paul wasn’t just preaching an idea. He was preaching a person. And he loved that person and he saw Jesus as being worth more than the whole world. You can hear his heart here as he says he was given the privilege of preaching to the Gentiles, ‘the unsearchable riches of Christ.’
5. God’s got a great purpose for the church.
While individual churches might look ordinary, God’s plans for the church are truly extraordinary. For example here, Paul tell us that God is using the church to demonstrate his manifold wisdom to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
These convictions gripped Paul. Do they grip you?
If you are growing spiritually tired, take some time, and go back to the fundamentals.
Do you appreciate what you have in the gospel? What a privilege it is to do anything for Jesus? What you actually deserve? How precious Jesus is? And what God’s actually doing in the church?