Romancing the Stone, Mission Impossible, and James Bond are some of my favorite action movies. The one thing that I notice in all these films is that the hero is always facing insurmountable odds while searching and fighting for some priceless treasure.
Our movie characters aren’t too different from us. We may not be fighting for billions in gold, or priceless buried treasure, but our treasure is just as important. It may be a prayer for an unsaved spouse, freedom from a health issue, or a wayward child. Whatever it is, it can certainly feel insurmountable, causing us to lose heart from the battle.
In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul talks about treasure too— a different kind of treasure. He goes on to explain why once we have it, losing heart is not an option. And instead of our having to search for it, Paul tells us where it’s hidden, in jars of clay (us), as not to distract from its value and worth. What’s the treasure? It’s Christ in us, the hope of glory, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
What does that have to do with the problem of losing heart? Plenty, and if we look at verses 8-9 we’ll get it. In these verses, Paul tells us what we can expect as we face the trials of life, he says we’ll be hard pressed, crushed, and struck down. He totally gets it.
But then in verse 16, he kills the moment by saying that we shouldn’t lose heart! He says our trials are only light and momentary afflictions. Really? This is from the guy who was beaten, shipwrecked, and flogged. How could he say this? Because he knew a few secrets about “the treasure” that are key to not losing heart. Consider this:
• The treasure is worth the fight
Paul knew an abiding relationship with Christ would bear the fruit of wisdom and knowledge, equipping us for the battle. No treasure is more valuable or worth fighting for.
• Grace is only for today
Believers will always face hardships. We are under a death system (law). But no life can spring forth without death (trials) and will always reveal resurrection power.
• Change your perspective
Don’t deny your circumstances, but look for ways to speak life into them.
• Renew the mind daily
Our outer man is decaying, our inner man is to be experiencing daily renewal through the washing of the word in our hearts. Be intentional about setting your mind on the truth, and seeking God with all your heart.
• Focus on eternal glory
If we focus on what is seen it will be easy to lose heart. Be intentional about setting your mind on what is unseen and imperishable.
Digging for treasure isn’t something we should leave to our action hero’s. It’s something we can practice daily by following the steps outlined above. They’ll help us to drive our treasure deep, making losing heart seem like a mission impossible.
Rita A. Schulte is a licensed professional Christian counselor in the northern Virginia area. She has written a book entitled Sifted As Wheat: finding hope and healing through the losses of life which is currently represented by Hartline Literary Agency. Rita also hosts a weekly podcast show called Heartline. You can find her at ritaschulte.com