2 Corinthians 4:16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
Paul had faced suffering, trials, and distress as he preached the Good News. But he knew that they would one day be over, and he would obtain God's rest and rewards. As we face great troubles, it's easy to focus on the pain rather than on our ultimate goal. Just as athletes concentrate on the finish line and ignore their discomfort, we, too, must focus on the reward for our faith and the joy that lasts forever. No matter what happens to us in this life, we have the assurance of eternal life, when all suffering will end and all sorrow will flee away.
It is easy to lose heart and quit. We all have faced problems in our relationships or in our work that have caused us to think about giving up. Rather than quitting when persecution wore him down, Paul concentrated on the inner strength that came from the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16). Don't let fatigue, pain, or criticism force you off the job. Renew your commitment to serving Christ. Don't forsake your eternal reward because of the intensity of today's pain. Your very weakness allows the resurrection power of Christ to strengthen you moment by moment.
A 90-year-old widow was moving to a nursing home because she was legally blind. On the elevator when a nurse began to describe her new room, the elderly lady exclaimed, "I love it!" "But you haven't even seen it yet," said the nurse. "That doesn't matter," she replied. "Happiness is something you decide ahead of time! Whether or not I like it doesn't depend on how the furniture's arranged. It's how I arrange my mind that's important, and I've already decided to love it. Every morning when I wake I can choose to dwell on the parts of my body that no longer work, or give thanks for the ones that do! Every day is a gift, so as long as my eyes open I'll focus on the blessings of each new day, and all the great memories I've stored away." What an attitude!
Old age is sort of like a bank account; you get out only what you deposit. In fact, all stages of life are like a deposit. If you deposit lots of good stuff early on, you'll be able to withdraw it later when you need it. So - what are you depositing today?
Read again Paul's words from today's text: So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
"Lord, I love the attitude of the 90 year old lady. She had already decided that she would enjoy her new room even before she had seen it. Why? Because she started out the day DECIDING and DETERMINING to enjoy whatever that day brought. She savored every moment that she had. Oh God, please help me to do the same thing. Please forgive me for the days that I have allowed to pass me by without savoring the moments. I am a blessed man, and I take so much for granted. Today, I determine that I will bask in and savor each moment. I deposit memories of blessings, even the seemingly small things. I will draw from those memories in days to come. When I go through a struggle, help me to remember what I am depositing today. In Jesus' name, amen!"