The apostle Paul had moxie. Every morning he woke up with it. He could because his life was cemented in Christ. Paul lived with a moxie-style faith. A quote from M.J. McClary reveals Paul’s faith, “It takes… moxie to pull up roots and go to a land where the culture and probably the language are totally foreign.” Paul was willing to go wherever God called him, even if that meant being in a foreign land. God was with him so he could face anything with boldness and clarity.
Reading Paul’s adventures in the Bible makes you think, “How in the world did Paul not lose heart, give up, keep his focus on God and speak about Christ wherever he was?” Even in the direst of circumstances, Paul kept his faith upfront and alive giving all glory to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
How did he do this? I want to know how, do you? This past Sunday (3.20.22) at Grace Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Pastor Troy Dobbs gave a sermon on 2 Corinthians 4 where Paul reveals 9 strategies that gave him moxie-style faith. I am sharing this sermon with you today. It helped me. May it be the same for you.
“Don’t Lose Heart” is the title of the sermon. Know it is not verbatim. It is my notes from listening to the sermon. Feel free to Google Grace Church, Eden Prairie, MN, and listen for yourself.
Trying times, hard seasons, uncertainties, they all can cause your faith to crumble. “I’ve had it!” becomes your mantra. You look for an escape route. Your ego gets hit and you become fragile, beat down. How do you not lose heart when life is throwing boulders at you instead of lemons? Lemons are something you can handle. You just make lemonade. But what about large boulders that knock you down again and again?
Strategy 1: Paul refused disgraceful, underhanded ways. It is tempting to take the easy way out. Paul remained godly when life wasn’t going his way. It’s easy to become disengaged, back off, compromise, but Paul says to take a stand! Don’t lower your standards when you are upset. Don’t sulk because life is hard.
It is always worth it to be godly.
Strategy 2: Paul refused to tamper with God’s Word. It is easy to get squishy. It is easy to fit God’s Word into the world to accommodate your own life. You will find trouble when you look at culture’s response to God’s Word. Paul says to take a stand and stay strong in the Word!
Strategy 3: Paul refused to compromise the Gospel even when it is rejected. He knew it would be, yet he stuck with it. He understood that the Gospel will never be mainstream. He also understood that the Gospel is powerful! Paul encourages you to stick to the script. Don’t lose heart when you are rejected for speaking up.
Don’t forget the Gospel is powerful. It changes lives.
Strategy 4: Paul refused to make everything about him. As a believer, you are to die to self. Live in such a way that Christ is highlighted in your life, not yourself. Don’t fall prey or else you will lose heart.
Strategy 5: Paul refused to trust in his strength. Your human strength is actually your weakness. The treasure of the Gospel dwells within a believer’s heart. Paul likens you to a jar of clay, weak, frail, fragile. It is good to know that it’s okay to be weak. When Christ is allowed to be your strength, your life positions the Gospel in such a way that others will see it.
Strategy 6: Paul refused to cave into despair. Let’s face it, Paul had a hard life. He was afflicted many times, and in every hard moment he remembered truth. You carry the death of Jesus in your heart. Those around you will see the scars from it. Paul used his scars to promote God. God uses your scars, troubles, ailments, whether physical, mental or emotional, and uses them for good.
Strategy 7: Paul refused to be silent about God’s grace. Speak it if you believe it. You are called to tell the truth and walk the truth. When you do, grace is extended to those around you. It is important to preach truth to others. It is as important to preach it to yourself as well.
Strategy 8: Paul refused to be externally focused. If all you see is yourself in the mirror, you will lose heart. It is good to embrace that aging is going to happen. Instead, focus on your inner you which is stunning by the way. This is your true self.
Strategy 9: Paul refused to be swamped by the moment he was in. What is seen is temporary. What is unseen is eternal. This present moment is temporary. Focus on what lies ahead.
Initially, Paul says to do not get soft when life is hard. When Christ is in you, He is for you, and He will keep your heart strong and focused.
Be encouraged as you go deeper in Christ. God is with you every step of the way.