Have you had worries about illness, aging, death? Today’s YouVersion verse brings a fresh perspective.
The apostle Paul who wrote this had been exposed to death again and again. He knows what it is to stare death in the face. Repeatedly. And he has way more than enough reason to lose heart. So he understands when certain situations cause us to lose heart.
His encouragement is:
we do not lose heart
Though outwardly we are wasting away
we are being renewed
day by day.
Therefore – What precedes this sentence is the reason we do not lose heart:
Paul talks about our perishable bodies holding Jesus, the reason why in sufferings and trials, we don’t have to fold up and die but become victors over circumstances:
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
That our bodies are perishable is a given. That our bodies are destined to die is a given.
Even if we are not exempt from various trials from different sources, we are not crushed or destroyed, we are not in despair:
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
As believers in Jesus, we are constantly aware of the death of Jesus (and His resurrection) and our own:
10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
we do not lose heart: (Do not become sad, depressed, no longer interested in life, especially because it is not progressing as we would like.)
Though outwardly : (externally, on the surface, superficially, seemingly)
we are wasting away: (losing energy and vigor, gradually becoming feeble and weak, dwindling away)
yet : (in spite of, despite, even if outwardly we are wasting away…)
inwardly: (on the inside where we don’t see)
day by day (gradually, steadily, progressively, little by little with each day)
The bottomline for the one who puts his/ her faith in Jesus Christ is ultimate victory over death:
1 Corinthians 15:54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.
Trials may come in the form of illness, aging, threats to life, deep loss, physical suffering, problems in relationship, money, career, or other. Even if we overcome these trials but our soul ends up in hell (fiery lake of burning sulfur), the victory would be short-term.
On the other hand, even if we have passing trials in our short life (short in the context of the continuum of time from eternity past to eternity future), if we have eternal life with God, then the perspective of today’s worries (which Paul refers to as “light and momentary troubles”) is that they are short-lived, bearable, temporary. We can be encouraged to keep on keeping on.
Thank you, Paul for sharing this message. But thank You Jesus for being the Reason we can be victors over illness, aging, and death.