In our world today, it is easy to just quit, give up, or lose heart. With everything we see on the news, experience at our jobs, or go through in our daily lives you just want to throw in the towel. Jesus, however, gives us three reasons why we can not lose heart, be of good cheer, or take heart.
The first is found in Matthew 14:27, the disciples are caught in a storm, the wind and the waves are tossing the boat back and forth, and here comes Jesus walking on the water. He cries out to the disciples “Take heart! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” When storms of life come crashing in and everything that has been holding you up is being shaken, tossed back and forth, remember that Jesus has your situation, circumstance, problem under His feet. When family members let you down, when your friends abandon you, when you are having trouble at your job, when your money starts dwindling away, and when your possessions start to dissipate don’t lose heart because Jesus is still there. David starts Psalm 23 with the statement “The Lord is ….” you can fill in the blank. Judah Smith, Senior Pastor of the City Church, is in the middle of a sermon series entitled “Jesus is …” he mentions in John 4:26 where Jesus tells the woman at the well, whose world is falling apart and is searching for the answer “You don’t have to wait any longer or look any further.” Some of you who are reading this; your world is falling apart, what has been holding you up and sustaining you is being shaken, you’re about to give up, throw in the towel, lose heart, and you’re searching for the answer. I want to let you know that you don’t have to wait any longer or look any further, Jesus is the one you have been looking for, He’s got your situation under His feet, and He holds your world in the palm of His hand.
The next time Jesus tells someone to take heart is found in Luke 8:48. The woman with the issue of blood has just reached out, touched the tip of Jesus’ robe, and has been healed. But because she is an outcast, a law-breaker, and had an embarrassing disease; she hides in fear. Jesus tells her “Daughter, take heart; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” This woman was afraid, did not feel accepted and the first thing Jesus says to her is “Daughter.” Jesus immediately shows that she is accepted and pleasing to Him. Some of you don’t feel accepted. You feel like God is out to get you because of what you said or did. I want to let you know that Jesus loves you and that you are accepted and pleasing in His sight and that’s all that matters. Jesus tells this woman to take heart; your faith has … Some of you are weak in your faith, you’re about to lose faith, or you have already lost it. I want to encourage you so that your faith may arise. With faith you can move the mountains in your life. Hebrews 11 tells us numerous stories about what people were able to do through faith. One of the three things Paul said to Timothy that he did was that he kept the faith (See 2 Timothy 4:7). If you can keep your faith, you can get everything back that you may have lost. So hold on, stand firm, keep the faith!
Lastly in John 14-16, Jesus tells the disciples that He is going to die, that He is going to leave them, and that they are going to face persecution, hardship, and trouble in this life. After saying all this, He tells them “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but take heart, I have overcome the world” (See John 16:33). Whatever it is that you are going through in your life, Jesus has overcome it. Whether it’s sickness, Jesus has overcome it. Whether it’s despair, Jesus has overcome it. Whether it’s depression, Jesus has overcome it. Whether it’s fear, Jesus has overcome it. Whether it’s hopelessness, Jesus has overcome it. Whether it is sin, Jesus has overcome it. Whether it is loss, Jesus has overcome it. Jesus has overcome it!
In a previous post, “To Him Who Overcome” you can check it out here https://atoj247.com/2011/8/22/to-him-who-overcomes/, I mentioned how Hillsong United has a song called “Take Heart.” Listen to it here http://youtu.be/xMxKrwqp_4Y and be encouraged.