Discouraged by Galatians?
Discouraged by Galatians? October 30, 2022
The Galatians owed Paul so much because he had given so much to them. Who were these Galatians and where did they live? Evidently the boundaries of Galatia extended to include those cities Paul visited on the first and second missionary journeys. The churches in Galatia and in many places were established in times of great trials. Paul had given so much of himself to them, even to the point of almost dying when they stoned him in Lystra. Just weeks after this horrid event, he returned to again preach in that city. He had given so much even to these churches, yet shortly after he departed from them, they were forsaking the Lord. Paul said, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ” (Galatians 1:6). With anguish in his heart, he asked the Christians in Galatia, “Have I become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16). When this happens, it is so easy to become discouraged.
Perhaps you have had these same feelings when you have given so much to teach others about Jesus. Then, with anguish in your heart you saw them rejecting Him. How do you deal with your broken spirit when you are giving so much? You watch them as they reject, not you, but the message of Jesus.
Even Jesus Himself experienced this in His life. You are not alone – they rejected Jesus. “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him” (John 1:11). When the rich young man came to Jesus and the Master told him what to do, “He went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Matthew 19:22). It was not Jesus who failed on that day, it was the rich young man!
Because of His teachings, Jesus was rejected by the Jewish nation. The Bible describes what happened as He approached Jerusalem in His triumphant entry. “Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it” (Luke 19:41). He entered the city, and then said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing” (Matthew 23:37). It was not Jesus who failed, it was that nation who refused to listen to Him!
So even when your heart is filled with anguish because others will not respond to the words of Jesus you are showing them, do not become discouraged. Your heart weeps for them, just like Jesus’ heart was filled with grief because they rejected Him. However, this did not keep Him from telling others about the will of His Father. Do not become discouraged. Speak the truth; speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). When others refuse to obey, you have not failed – they did!
By Dan Jenkins