Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16 NABRE
Paul in writing the verses before the quoted verse speaks about the suffering he has endured to reveal Jesus’ self-giving love. He says he is a fragile clay jar, but is empowered to persevere for Jesus. In the quoted verse he declares he is not discouraged. Despite much suffering and opposition Paul is not discouraged. Usually we Christians seek new life every day, to improve and fulfill the life we have here and now. Paul is looking forward in this verse to the eternal life that God is preparing for him. Paul has a bigger picture in mind, the missionary life of Jesus disciples is a pilgrimage toward a better homeland, a heavenly one. Paul distinguishes between the outer self and the inner self. The outer self embodies the human existence that is aging, weakening, getting afflictions and illness and ultimately has a physical death. Paul refers to these things as wasting away. The inner life embodies the human transformed and strengthened by the indwelling of God’s Spirit. The inner life lives the new life in Christ. The inner life transforms the human more and more to the divine image and likeness of Christ, which leads ultimately to the raising of our bodies to resurrected glory. For Paul this is all very hopeful.
We should have hope in a future that God wants us to have. We should be encouraged by the promise of eternal life and the glory of the resurrected body. It is the promise revealed by Jesus on Easter morning. It is the covenant of God brought by Jesus in life. We should have hope. But we should also live everyday knowing God’s Spirit dwells in us.
Are you hopeful about your journey home? Do you understand the renewal you receive?We should have hope in a future that God wants us to have. We should be encouraged by the promise of eternal life and the glory of the resurrected body. Click To Tweet
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