IF I'M BEING REAL, I AM TRYING NOT TO LOSE HEART.
THEREFORE WE DO NOT LOSE HEART. THOUGH OUTWARDLY WE ARE WASTING AWAY, YET INWARDLY WE ARE BEING RENEWED DAY BY DAY. 2 CORINTHIANS 4:16
If I'm being real, I am trying not to lose heart.
I cried and prayed and journaled this morning about something that just breaks my heart. It’s a long term “something” that keeps on waxing and waning. It seems all better, then it just isn’t. It’s a “something” that leaves me feeling ill-equipped and frustrated or just plain old tired and angry. I hate it. I want it to go away. But here I am after months of hoping and praying and working and reworking, still dealing with it one day at a time. And that is why I love this verse. It’s just real. It says we are going to be tempted to lose heart, to give up and to give in. It gives me words to speak in those situations—despite my gloom, despite my own lack, despite signs that point to failure—I can say, “I do NOT lose heart! I’m not going to give in! I’m not going to give up! I’m not going to lose faith!”
Even though I am wasting away.
I know that’s a strange twist, but it’s true. It’s an acknowledgement of our human situation. We are, in fact, all wasting away in some manner or another, whether we feel like it or not. And when we do feel like it, when it hits us as our real reality, it feels very heavy. We realize that we simply don’t have the energy or the love or the resources to do all the things and fix all the things and be all the things. And for me, right now, in the extended middle of my own difficult situation, I feel it. I feel the results of our fallen world and the sin that presses in. I feel my own lack of abilities. And when I put all the things into the balance sheet, from the outside, it feels overwhelming. What am I to do? Outwardly, I AM burdened, worn-out, woefully inadequate. And I can find myself desperately wondering, “What hope is there? Maybe I should just give up, give in, and lose heart…”
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I love this one little word. Yet. Our verse says, “though outwardly things are looking really bleak… YET.” There’s something else at work. There’s a “yet” to be discovered! There’s a secret inner work going on—something “inward” that flies in the face of the “outward”! Somehow, deep inside, there’s a renewal happening, a revival, a remaking, a rebirth. Despite circumstances, despite the obvious outer issues, there is something beautiful springing up. Even in me! But, I just confessed my desperation and inability! How could any renewal ever happen in me, as if I had the strength or the power or the wisdom to remake myself!?!?! Our verse makes it plain. It doesn’t say we renew ourselves. Rather, it says we are “being renewed”. The action is being done TO us. Oh thank you, Jesus! It isn’t on us to renew our own selves. If it were, we’d be in trouble.
Day by day.
Renewal is a process that already implies repetition, it means we are being “made new again”. But in case you didn’t catch it, our verse reiterates this concept, saying it happens “day by day”. It’s a daily project. And yes, it is done TO us, BUT we also participate in it! We must create a “workspace” for Jesus to renew us all the time. For me, I spend time with Jesus almost every morning. Because the truth is, I wake up every morning and immediately pick up my burdens and start carrying them around. I just do. I embrace the outward reality that is wearing out and wasting away like it’s my job to put it all back together. And I carry that weight with me until I hear Jesus calling, “come to me weary one, carrying that burden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). So I go to him and pray and cry and write out my burdens. Sound familiar? This is exactly where I started, this very morning. I made a space for Jesus because I knew only he could renew my spirit and give me rest. His words for me this morning renewed my hope, my peace, and my faith in his good outcomes. Therefore, I don’t lose heart! Though my situation remains the same, inwardly I am being renewed, day by day.
What about you, what is causing you to lose heart?
If it’s something that drags on and feels repetitive, how might the daily repetition of meeting with Jesus be a good response?
How can you make space for Jesus to renew you?
Thanks for reading,
Meet Natalie,Dwell co-founder
Hi there, I'm Natalie. I'm so glad you're here. I'd love to connect with you and hear more about what God is doing in your life!
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