"Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart" (II Corinthians 4:1).
Two things kept Paul from losing heart. One, that he had "this ministry." The other, that he had this ministry, "by the mercy of God." Together, as two sides of the same coin, these blessings of God kept Paul going through every conceivable attack, opposition, and dire circumstance.
"This ministry" was the ministry of reconciliation. God had given us his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in order to reconcile to himself the people who had preferred sin. People became enemies of God. God loved them. He sent his Son to completely defeat their sin, the curse of sin, the death that followed sin everywhere it went, and the red dragon who promoted sin from the very beginning of time. God's work was so thoroughly successful that Paul had a ministry that reconciled people to God through faith in Jesus Christ.
"By the mercy of God" summarizes Paul's experience of meeting Jesus Christ one day, right in the middle of him taking some of his biggest steps to wipe the Christian faith off the face of the globe. His eyes were opened, he came to faith in Jesus Christ, and he was reconciled to God.
However, not only did Paul experience the mercy of God granting him eternal life in Jesus Christ, but the mercy of God took hold of one of the most angry, violent, opponents of the cross of Jesus Christ, and so transformed him from death to life, that Paul became one of the most unstoppable, joyful, life-filled, gospel-speaking messengers of God's glorious grace in God’s Son.
How would this help us to never lose heart? By receiving the ministry of reconciliation by the mercy of God. God is showing the world mercy as he continues to hold off the coming judgement against all our sin. He continues to testify throughout the world of the mercy of God expressed to us in his Son. When we receive the fullness of this gift of reconciliation with God, thoroughly depending on the mercies of God as our only hope of salvation, we are given a new life in Jesus Christ that defies losing heart.
Yes, heart-losing experiences will seek to crush us. Satan continues to steal, kill, and destroy now as he did in the Garden of Eden. However, the ministry and the mercy of God in reconciliation give us all we need to keep going in life, and keep growing in Jesus.
© 2015 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~ email@example.com
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)