Don’t Lose Heart!

Last week, I was tempted to lose heart. So much injustice, despair, hatred, lawlessness, and senseless violence on display. Our old Minneapolis neighborhood—the one in which we raised our children—was the scene of massive looting and destruction. Friends reported to us that it now looked like a war zone. It’s enough to lose heart, especially in light of my hopes and prayers for the next generation of children in that neighborhood.

More than 20 ago, I dedicated the curriculum Jesus, What a Savior to the children of the very neighborhood that was now in the midst of so much wanton destruction. Even back then, it was a place of despair—gangs, drugs, prostitution, fatherless homes, and more. The gospel was desperately needed! So, this had been my prayer for the children at that time:

May the Good Shepherd lovingly seek after you.

May the Light of the world give light to your soul.

May the Lamb of God purify your heart with His precious blood.

May the Son of God make you a child of His heavenly Father.

May the Lord of lords lead you in paths of righteousness.

May the Bread of Life satisfy all your desires.

May the King of kings bring you into His glorious Kingdom.

I can’t help but wonder…and I would be tempted to lose heart if the salvation of those children—or any other children we minister to—was merely dependent on our own efforts, the openness of their hearts, or the circumstances in which they live.

2 Corinthians 4:1—Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.

Don’t lose heart! God, in His sovereign power and mercy, is at work…

Ephesians 2:4-5—But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

John 10:27-29—My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Revelation 7:9-10—After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Don’t lose heart. Press on with the ministry of the gospel. The salvation of the next generations is in His loving, good, and sovereign hands!

P.S. For additional encouragement, be sure to read the last chapter of David Michael’s new book, Zealous: 7 Commitments for the Discipleship of the Next Generations. That chapter is titled, “Do Not Lose Heart.”