”Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” Galatians 6:9-10
There are days I feel like a poster child for a syndrome we often label discouragement.
I often wonder if I have unique DNA wiring that renders me overly susceptible to the discomfort of this emotion. In many ways, discouragement is a strength zapper to perseverance.
This verse from Galatians seems to be gift-wrapped with our name on it. God speaks encouragement to all who will read these words and embrace them. Many times I have felt the weight of discouragement bogging me down. Perceived failure and weariness can seep through my bones like the chill of a dreary, winter morning.
To lose heart, is that hopeless sense of weariness; it is work that seems fruitless, long, hard effort with no end or result in sight. Weariness is a word devoid of energy to keep going, to look on the bright side. Too discouraged to wait another day, we give into the temptation to declare that we have failed and God has let us down.
When discouragement presses down hard, success no longer seems worth the effort. In these moments, fears and condemnations circle with the tenacity of vultures diving for their prey.
Do we ever consider the cost of discouragement?
Recently the Lord branded this question in that sensitive spot right between my eyes. Weariness depletes our vitality to sustain work and attitude with the energy of faith. Discouragement tends to make our problems loom larger and our God shrink small.
Losing heart erodes faith and can provoke a downward spiral of emotion. We land in a heap of doubt, discontent, plagued by questions.
- What went wrong?
- What else could I have done?
- Where is God?
The cost of discouragement is more than we can afford.
Have you ever wondered what due time is? Like the birth of a long-awaited baby, due time is an appointed time. And just like the arrival of a baby, we are more than ready for the day labor begins and the baby is born. It is Kairos time, set by the sovereign hands of God.
Kairos time cannot be rushed.
I often find myself pushing against the constraints of waiting on God.
In due time we WILL reap…IF we do not grow weary. This conditional statement requires my effort. If I quit, I cannot reap, for reaping requires sowing.
The work must be done, the ground prepared, seeds planted and watered for plants to grow and bear fruit. Harvest is dependent on participation, and every harvest takes time. This is the perseverance of process.
The work that is dearest to my heart is often the most vulnerable to discouragement.
Is it that way for you?
So then, while we have opportunity… sometimes in our discouragement we don’t appreciate the opportunities God gives us. The word opportunity is also translated as Kairos.
God is in control not only of the results, but He also provides set, appointed opportunities for us to accomplish His work…if we do not give up. Hold on to the perseverance of process.