DVO June 15, 2019

Title: Do Not Lose Heart

Scripture: II Corinthians 4:16-18 – Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

When you are facing disappointment, illness/suffering or persecution that threatens you with bouts of discouragement or depression, how do you find the strength or power to persevere or not succumb to being bitter or to lose heart? Paul’s answer is found in II Corinthians 4:16-18. II Corinthians 4:16 says “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward an is being renewed day by day.” The “outward man” is our physical body, which is decaying and will eventually die. Paul was referring to the normal aging process. Also, he wore himself out in ministry, plus he suffered beatings and attacks from his enemies. On the other hand, the “inward man” is being renewed day by day. The inward man is the eternal part of each believer. Ephesians 4:23-24 says “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and holiness. Colossians 3:10 says “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. While Paul was becoming “physically” weak and was under attack by his enemies, he experienced “spiritual” growth/success (Hebrews 11:32-45). From the moment you are born, your body is in a slow process of aging until you take your final breath on earth. If you are only aware and thinking about how much you are decaying physically as you age, you can get bitter/discouraged. When you realize and appreciate how much you are being transformed internally/eternally, you can rest and be joyous — seeing things with the Lord’s perspective. I can remember visiting family/friends in the hospital who were on their death bed that I wanted to encourage. After our visit, I realized that they encouraged me so much. I could sense that they were resting, trusting in the Lord, and they were not focusing on their illness. That’s so amazing to me!

II Corinthians 4:17 says “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Our most extreme difficulties in this life, which may be unbearable at times are light and short-lived compared to the heavy-weighted rewards that will last forever in eternity! Wow! Can you even imagine that truth!

II Corinthians 4:18 says “While we do not look 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 that are not seen are eternal.” I’m asking the Lord to help me look past what is temporary/perishing (the things of this world), and look/focus on things that are not seen (that are eternal). Pursuing, seeking, focusing on the Lord Jesus Christ consistently reading/studying God’s word, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ should be so important to us as believers.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father: As I am aging, help me to keep my focus on You – and not lose heart. Just as I need food for my physical body, help me to continue to desire food for my soul (the precious word of God — the Bible). All this I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

(by Marsha Williams)