so we do not lose heart. though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. [2 corinthians 4:16]
perhaps you’ve heard of the law of entropy: the natural tendency that any system involving spontaneous processes will deteriorate or become increasingly disordered over time. simply stated, everything on this earth, given time, will break down, deteriorate, die, and eventually turn to dust. we see it in nature, we see it in our own bodies. it’s inevitable. our bodies are wasting away.
so, if our hope and satisfaction is rooted in our own bodies, our looks, our abilities, our intelligence, what will happen as those things deteriorate? when people stop complimenting your looks, or you start to forget which words to use. when you stop working out and you find yourself huffing and puffing on that 1 mile run with a friend. when you throw your back out and have to take it slow for a couple of weeks. or, maybe you’re at the top of your game right now, successful, beautiful, smart, witty, and anxiety grips you because you know in a moment’s notice, any of those things could be taken away. what will you have left?
i’m so thankful for paul’s words! he’s reminding us where our hope lies. as this earth is passing away, our purpose and hope lies in something eternal that will never fade away or die. redemption through the gospel of Jesus Christ. every believer, at one point, has realized their need for this gospel, and was renewed by it, becoming a new creation, seeing the glory of the Father, and realizing ultimate satisfaction in it. but our fickle minds, vacillating between loves, our crafty enemy, luring us with our fleshly desires, and using every chance he can to lead us from the truth, and the temptations of this world, constantly bombarding us with things it promises will deliver satisfaction, pull our hearts from the true satisfaction that we have found in God’s glorious presence.
this is why it is so important…no, essential…that our hearts and minds are being renewed daily with the truth and beauty of the gospel. to see the deterioration of the world through a gospel lens, like john was saying in wednesday’s sermon, will only lead us to worship! and so, we will not lose heart.
so maybe, you’ve recently lost a loved one. maybe you just lost your job. maybe you just tested positive for covid. maybe you’ve been crushed by unfaithfulness in your marriage, or in someone else’s marriage. maybe it seems the world around you is just falling apart. i would challenge you to ask yourself where your hope lies. i would challenge you to turn your eyes to Jesus, looking full in His wonderful face. in the light of His glory and grace, the troubles and brokenness of this world will grow strangely dim. he will renew your heart, and he will be your joy in the midst of chaos. so ask for a gospel lens. ask for renewal. we need more of his presence, and he loves to give good gifts to his children. so ask.