Meditation Monday // Don't Lose Heart // 2 Corinthians 4:16
This Monday I’m meditating on 2 Corinthians 4:16, a verse that has been a source of unimaginable comfort in the most challenging seasons of my life, as well as the everyday pains and inconveniences. It says,
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”
The Temptation to Lose Heart
It's a hard truth we can’t deny—we are wasting away. When Adam and Eve first sinned in Eden, the effects of the curse spread to every corner of creation. Every ache, wrinkle, and difficult diagnosis reminds us that our bodies are wasting away. We seem to watch our hopes and dreams waste away as we face disappointment after disappointment. Sometimes it feels like our lives and the world around us are going downhill fast. Surely this can’t end well, right?
And so we lose heart.
A Reason to Take Heart
The Bible doesn’t deny the death, decay, and depravity all around us, but it does offer hope that’s greater than all of it. “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” (emphasis added).
The Lord is bringing renewal for all who are in Christ. He’s renewing us now—purifying us, maturing us, making us more like Jesus—and he’s using every bit of our suffering and pain to do it. But there’s an even greater renewal that’s coming. One day, Jesus Christ will return to this earth and we will see the fulfillment of those words from Revelation 5, “Behold I am making all things new.”
The world will be renewed, no longer plagued by disaster and discord. Christ’s church will be renewed, clothed in righteousness and completely free from all sin. Our bodies will be renewed, never to experience another ounce of pain, and resurrected to life that lasts forever.
No more crying. No more suffering. No more sin.
So do not lose heart. What we can see now is not the full picture. We may never understand exactly how God will work the details of our suffering out for our good, but we can rest in the knowledge that in the hands of our good God, not a speck of our suffering is wasted.
Take Heart Today
When we meditate on the truth of this verse, we can begin to understand how we can take heart in the many circumstances of our lives.
Tired and Weak. I’m writing this on the tail end of a terrible night’s sleep that ended with a vomiting toddler, all after three days of solo parenting. Before that, the same toddler fell and chipped her two front teeth. I’m tired. In my frustration I protest, “this is pointless! These problems are making my life difficult for no good reason.” But there is a good reason, because our good God is in control. He’s using all of it to renew me, and when I remember that, I can have hope. When I remember that, I call out to him for help and patience and Christlikeness. When I remember the renewal, I can rejoice in the suffering.
Grieving and Discouraged. The loss of loved ones, of relationships, of hopes and dreams—there’s a lot to grieve, and that grief is good and right. But 2 Corinthians 4:16 offers hope for the future and comfort for the present. God redeems all that has gone wrong in this world, and he does it through Christ. The dead will be raised. Brothers will be reconciled. Every longing of our hearts will find its fulfillment in Jesus. Don’t lose heart.
Sick and Suffering. Ever spoken the phrase of exasperation, “I’m falling apart”? Whether it’s chronic illness, the flu, or waking up with a sore neck from sleeping in the wrong position, we can often feel our bodies wasting away. Or maybe you’re in a season where you’re pummeled by one painful thing after another, and it feels too difficult to go on. Take heart, God is taking every bit of your pain and suffering that feels too heavy to bear and using it to produce an eternal weight of glory for you (2 Corinthians 4:17). Your joy in eternity will be greater, not in spite of your pain, but because of it.
There is no annoyance too small or suffering too great that God cannot use it for your good. Meditate on that truth today in every challenging moment. Do not lose heart—you are being renewed.
This post includes products from our shop. Our Scripture Meditation Cards feature 31 hand-lettered designs that can be a daily encouragement to you and your family. Whether you're doing dinner prep in your kitchen or sitting in your favorite chair for quiet time, our hope is that you will find cheer, encouragement, and consolation in God's Word through this collection of inspirational Bible verses.
Our guest contributor for this Meditation Monday is Joanna Kimbrel. We're thrilled to have her join us for this series, here's a little about her!
Joanna Kimbrel serves as content coordinator for The Gospel Coalition. She is a Bible teacher and writer with a passion for sharing the beauty of God’s Word with others and is a Student at Westminster Theological Seminary pursuing her masters of arts in theological studies. She is author of The Greatest Hero: The Book of Romans (Kaleidoscope, October 2022), a retelling of Paul’s letter to the Romans for elementary grade kids in chapter book form. Joanna and her husband Chad have three daughters, ages 5, 2, and one due in April, and are members of Sojourn Community Church in Woodstock, Georgia. You can find her on Instagram here, @joannakimbrel