Galatians 6:9

Sunday Evening Bible Study

October 6, 1996


Paul is writing to a group of churches which have been infected with a doctrine of legalism.

We now enter a section when we begin to talk about persevering in our walk, not giving up, not quitting.

One of our biggest obstacles in serving the Lord is discouragement.


You know it's going to be a bad day when:

 * You turn on the morning news and they're displaying emergency routes out of your city.

 * When the sun comes up in the west.

 * Or when your boss tells you not to bother taking off your coat.

 * Or when you jump out of bed in the morning and you miss the floor.

 * You know it's a bad day when the bird singing outside your bedroom window is a buzzard.

 * Or when you wake up in the morning and your dentures are locked together.

 * It's a bad day when your horn accidentally gets stuck and you're following a group of Hell's Angels on the freeway.

 * You know it's a bad day when you put both contact lens in the same eye.

 * When you walk to work on a summer morning and find the bottom of your dress is stuck in your panty hose.

 * When you call your answering service and they tell you it's none of your business.

 * When your income tax check bounces.

 * When you step on your scale and it reads tilt.

 * When suicide prevention puts you on hold.


Spurgeon:  called to a church at 16, addressing crowds of 5000 at 20.  He wrote this:

Before any great achievement in my life, some measure of depression is very usual.  Such was my experience when I first became a pastor in London; my success appalled me and the thought of that career which seemed to be opening up, so far from elating me, cast me into the lowest depths out of which I uttered my misery.  I found no room for a Gloria in Excelsis.

Who was I that I should continue to lead so great a multitude?  I would slip away to my village obscurity or prefer to emigrate to American and find a solitary nest in the backwoods.

It was just then that the curtain was rising on my greatest life's work and I dreaded what it might reveal to me.  I hope I was not faithless!  But I was timorous and filled with a sense of my own unfitness.  This depression sweeps over me whenever the Lord is preparing a larger blessing for my life and ministry.

Some of you are right at the door.

:9-10  Persevering

:9  let us not be weary in well doing:

be weary -  ekkakeo - (out of + bad nature, evil) - to behave badly in, to give in to evil, to lose courage; in Greek literature it is used of the faint-hearted coward (RWP); to be utterly spiritless, to be wearied out, exhausted; lose heart (NAS); not a physical fainting but a losing of courage (Ryrie)


There's an old fable that says the Devil once held a sale and offered all the tools of his trade to anyone who would pay their price.  They were spread out on the table and each one labeled. Hatred, malice, envy, despair, sickness, sensuality -- all the weapons that everyone knows so well.  But off to one side lay a harmless looking wood-shaped instrument marked "discouragement."  It was old and worn looking but it was priced far above all the rest.  When asked the reason why, the Devil replied, "Because I can use this one so much more easily than the others.  No one knows that it belongs to me, so with it I can open doors that are tightly bolted against the others. Once I get inside I can use any tool that suits me best."

How can I not lose heart?

There are three other places this word is used (out of 6 altogether) that can help us get an idea of what strengthens our heart.

1.  Pray

(Luke 18:1-8 KJV)  And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; {2} Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: {3} And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. {4} And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; {5} Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. {6} And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. {7} And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? {8} I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

The point of the parable is not that God is like some unjust judge, and if you just bug Him enough He'll finally give in.

The point is that if an unjust judge will give in to a woman's constant pleas, how much more will a loving God pay attention to His people's prayers.

We get discouraged and lose heart if we pray for five minutes, and God doesn't answer.

But God listens to our prayers.

And sometimes we don't always understand why, but we need to learn to persevere in praying, and not give up.

Finney's revivals - His autobiography is filled with the accounts of the various revivals he was a part of, I'm not even halfway through the book, on chapter 20, and every chapter is a different revival in a different city.  For example - Rochester New York (1830)

The moral change in the city:

At a subsequent period, which I shall mention in its place, I was conversing with a lawyer, who was converted at this revival of who I have been speaking, and who soon after had been made district attorney of the city. His business was to superintend the prosecution of criminals. From his position he was made thoroughly acquainted with the history of crime in that city. In speaking of the revival in which he was converted, he said to me, many years afterward: “I have been examining the records of the criminal courts, and I find this striking fact, that whereas our city has increased since that revival, threefold, there are not onethird as many prosecutions for crime, as there had been up to that time.” “This is,” he said, “the wonderful influence that revival had upon the community.” Indeed by the power of that revival, public sentiment has been molded. The public affairs of the city have been, in a great measure in the hands of Christian men; and the controlling influences in the community have been on the side of Christ.

The reason behind the revivals

I have not said much, as yet, of the spirit of prayer that prevailed in this revival, which I must not omit to mention. When I was on my way to Rochester, as we passed through a village, some thirty miles east of Rochester, a brother minister whom I knew, seeing me on the canalboat, jumped aboard to have a little conversation with me, intending to ride but a little way and return. He, however, became interested in conversation, and upon finding where I was going, he made up his mind to keep on and go with me to Rochester. We had been there but a few days when this minister became so convicted that he could not help weeping aloud, at one time, as he passed along the street. The Lord gave him a powerful spirit of prayer, and his heart was broken. As he and I prayed much together, I was struck with his faith in regard to what the Lord was going to do there. I recollect he would say, “Lord, I do not know how it is; but I seem to know that thou art going to do a great work in this city.” The spirit of prayer was poured out powerfully, so much so, that some persons stayed away from the public services to pray, being unable to restrain their feelings under preaching.

And here I must introduce the name of a man, whom I shall have occasion to mention frequently, Mr. Abel Clary. He was the son of a very excellent man, and an elder of the church where I was converted. He was converted in the same revival in which I was. He had been licensed to preach; but his spirit of prayer was such, he was so burdened with the souls of men, that he was not able to preach much, his whole time and strength being given to prayer. The burden of his soul would frequently be so great that he was unable to stand, and he would writhe and groan in agony. I was well acquainted with him, and knew something of the wonderful spirit of prayer that was upon him. He was a very silent man, as almost all are who have that powerful spirit of prayer.

The first I knew of his being at Rochester, a gentleman who lived about a mile west of the city, called on me one day, and asked me if I knew a Mr. Abel Clary, a minister. I told him that I knew him well. “Well,” said he, “he is at my house, and has been there for some time, and I don’t know what to think of him.” I said, “I have not seen him at any of our meetings.” “

@@—” he replied, “he cannot go to meeting,” he says. “He prays nearly all the time, day and night, and in such an agony of mind that I do not know what to make of it. Sometimes he cannot even stand on his knees, but will lie prostrate on the floor, and groan and pray in a manner that quite astonishes me.” I said to the brother, “I understand it; please keep still. It will all come out right; he will surely prevail.”

I knew at the time a considerable number of men who were exercised in the same way. A Deacon P——, of Camden, Oneida county; a Deacon T——, of Rodman, Jefferson county; a Deacon B——, of Adams, in the same country; this Mr. Clary, and many others among the men, and a large number of women, partook of the same spirit, and spent a great part of their time in prayer. Father Nash, as we called him, who in several of my fields of labor came to me and aided me, was another of those men that had such a powerful spirit of prevailing prayer. This Mr. Clary continued in Rochester as long as I did, and did not leave it until after I had left. He never, that I could learn, appeared in public, but gave himself wholly to prayer.

2.  Obtain mercy

2Co 4:1  Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

2Co 4:1  Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. (NIVUS)

Paul has been talking about the ministry he's received from the Lord (2Cor.3:6), a ministry of seeing people set free from blindness.

His courage to go on seems somehow tied in with the fact that God has been merciful to Him.

mercy -  eleeo - to have mercy on; to help one afflicted or seeking aid

The key to understanding mercy is to understand our need for God's help.

When we begin to realize how helpless we are, and we go to God to receive help from Him, the help we receive is called "mercy".


I think that for many of us, we don't struggle with admitting that we need help.

But the problem is that we don't often recognize that the help we need is God's help.

I think to myself, "If only I had more time off".

Or, "Gee, I need a vacation".

But what I need is the Lord.

It's when we come to the point that we wake up and realize that it's no more than Jesus that we need, that we will receive mercy.

I think one of the keys to mercy is again prayer:

Hebrews 4:15-16  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

It's when we learn that we must go to God for our help that we obtain His mercy.

3.  Keep your eyes on the invisible

(2 Cor 4:16-18 KJV)  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. {17} For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; {18} While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Keep your eyes on the fact that God is working in the realm of the invisible, and we don't always see what He's doing.

Keep your eyes on Jesus.

(Heb 12:1-4 KJV)  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, {2} Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. {3} For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

wearied -

faint - a word we're going to see at the end of our verse (ekluo) meaning to be enfeebled through exhaustion


The story of a British soldier in the First World War who lost heart for the battle and deserted.

Trying to reach the coast for a boat to England that night, he ended up wandering in the pitch black night, hopelessly lost. In the darkness he came across what he thought was a signpost. It was so dark that he began to climb the post so that he could read it. As he reached the top of the pole, he struck a match to see and found himself looking squarely into the face of Jesus Christ. He realized that, rather than running into a signpost, he had climbed a roadside crucifix. Then he remembered the One who had died for him -- who had endured -- who had never turned back. The next morning the soldier was back in the trenches.

:9  for in due season we shall reap,

If we just keep at it, at the right time, when it's appropriate, we will see results.

Fruit is seasonal

(Psa 1:1-3 KJV)  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. {2} But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. {3} And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

We need to be careful that we don't expect results instantaneously.

In reading Finney's autobiography, he talked about prayer in one instance where a person was comparing answers to prayer with their mode of communication with a far place, the mail service, carried by horse and boat.  They looked to answers to prayer in their terms, and we look in our terms of instantaneous communication.  God has His own timetable.

We need to just be patient and receive in God's own time.


Imagine, how easy it would have been for this young man to have bowed his head and given up.  He failed in business in '31, he was defeated for the legislature in '32, he was elected to the legislature in '34.  His sweetheart died in '35, he had a nervous breakdown in '36, he was defeated for speaker in '38, he was defeated for elector in '40, he was defeated for Congress in '43, he was elected to Congress in '46, defeated for Congress in '48, defeated for Senate in '50, defeated for vice president in '56 and for Senate in '58.  But fortunately he was elected president in 1860.  His name was Abraham Lincoln.  He proves that failure need not be permanent.


As author Zig Zigler says, "If life hands you a lemon, take the lemon and make lemonade."  Charles Goodyear's lemon was a prison sentence, resulting from a contempt of court citation.  While in prison, Goodyear didn't complain.  Instead, he became an assistant in the kitchen.  While there, he continued to work on an idea.  In the process he discovered a method for vulcanizing rubber.  His lemon, a prison sentence, became our lemonade.  We have better tires, which means better travel and a better way of life.

:9  if we faint not.

ekluo - to loose; metaph., to weaken, relax, exhaust; to have one's strength relaxed, to be enfeebled through exhaustion, to grow weak, grow weary, be tired out

(Isa 40:28-31 KJV)  Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. {29} He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. {30} Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: {31} But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Wait on the Lord.

Hold on.

Be patient.





:10  As we have therefore opportunity,




:10  let us do good unto all men,




:10  especially unto them who are of the household of faith.


Ryrie:   the household of faith = believers. Concern for this group is a special obligation of the children of God.