That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.
2 Corinthians 4:16 NLT
“How ya’ doin’?”
Most people expect, “Fine!” or “Doing OK!”
So I like to surprise people by saying, “I’m better.”
“Oh? Have you been sick?”
“No, I get better everyday!” and then I paraphrase 2 Corinthians 4:16, “The Bible says that outwardly we are wasting away, but inwardly we are being renewed day by day! So God says I’m getting better everyday!”
I just returned from the hospital where I sat with a dear brother while his wife had surgery. We are repeatedly reminded that we are all aging or as someone said, “We are constantly dying.”
So as our Thanksgiving holiday reminds us to be thankful, how do we stay encouraged and thankful? How do we keep from dropping into depression, worried to weariness, or exasperated with exhaustion even though our health is getting worse or the world is getting worse?
The reason the apostle Paul gave for never losing heart is found in the previous verse. He says,
… as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up.
2 Corinthians 4:15-16 NLT
Paul experienced almost every conceivable physical hardship: shipwreck, snake bite, beatings with rods and whips, stoning, imprisonment, a thorn in the flesh (probably as illness or bad eyesight), run out of town, and the list goes on!
So how did Paul remain thankful and encouraged while physically ravaged?
As believers in Christ, we are spiritual citizens of the Kingdom of God just passing-through this physical world.
So be thankful even though your health is going south and the world is going crazy, because as a follower of Jesus you are “getting better” by God’s grace.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV
God’s grace is always at work bringing more people into a relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ! You are called to be involved in getting God’s grace to more and more people so that increasingly God gets the glory and the thanksgiving.
Our Father, thank-you for your renewing Spirit living in us as believers in Your Son Jesus Christ. Please use us to bring more people to know your grace and forgiveness. Thank-you for Jesus!