Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
“Do not lose heart,” that is Paul’s way of saying that this is a God thing, God has it under control, it is not of our doing. He started Chapter 4 with this phrase and comes back to it again in verse 16. He then shifts to our outward nature and our inward nature. What is your concept of our outward and inward nature? I think many of us today, like was the predominant thought back then, have the concept that our outward mortal body imprisons our immortal soul until set free upon death. This is not what Paul is addressing. For Paul – outward nature is the life we live among other people which may include being persecuted and suffering. The inward nature is the new life that comes into being with our relationship to Christ, we become new beings. Our inward nature is not yet perfect or complete; it will be in the hereafter; meanwhile it is being renewed and growing every day. We are past Christmas and Christ is in the world, thus in our lives renewing our inward souls daily.
In verse 18 Paul addresses the seen and unseen. For Paul, the “seen” is temporary and not to fix our eyes on it. The “unseen” is the coming of Christ in the future, the bringing in of the new age. Paul believed Christ would return soon. The new age begun when Christ came into this world and then died and rose again for our sins. The new age has already begun in the renewal of our inward natures — just not complete until Christ comes again.
It is near the end of 2017. Soon, you will be starting a new year, new semester. Enter into this newness knowing that your inward nature will be renewed daily. As you go, do not lose heart, for this renewal is a God thing, God has it under control, it is not of our doing.
Robert S. Hay, UKirk Auburn