Sunday, February 28, 2010

Inwardly We Are Being Renewed

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (II Corinthians 4:16).

What an encouragement this passage is! Pain ages me. Some days I feel that I’m wasting away more than others. Pain and trials have caused me to lose that light-hearted, optimistic, and youthful outlook on life. Cynicism, hopelessness, and drudgery can fill my days if I allow them to do so. Physical limitations make me feel older than I am. The latest magazines and books leave me feeling discouraged and disheartened, since I am unable to follow the regimen of physical activity and supplements to keep me “in shape” and “be a younger me.”

Yet God does a wonderful thing inwardly. As I look to Him each day, He restores peace; “May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way" (II Thessalonians 3:16). He renews hope; “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself . . . who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts" (II Thessalonians 2:16). He releases fears; “Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you" (Joshua 1:9). He reminds me of who and whose I am; “Look to the rock from which you are cut and the quarry from which you are hewn" (Isaiah 51:1). Although I am aging physically, my spirit is becoming younger and more alive than it has ever been.

We cannot stop the effects of illness and pain on our physical bodies, but by God’s power we can keep it from destroying our spirits. As our spirits are renewed, we understand an even deeper meaning to being a new creation in Christ. We can look forward with great anticipation to the new bodies that await us in eternity. Until then, we can continue to “be made new in the attitude of our minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:23,24). That is worth far more than any gym workout, health supplement or beauty treatment could ever be.

Prayer: Uplift my spirit today Lord, reminding me that You see me not as I am now, but as I will be in eternity. As I wait on You, renew my strength to live for You in this season of my life. Amen.

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