Groaning, Yet Encouraged

Therefore we do not lose heart.
Even though our outward man is perishing,
yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

~ 2 Corinthians 4:16 ~

For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed
with our habitation which is from heaven…

~ 2 Corinthians 5:2 ~

I am growing weary of my body continually changing for the worse. I have had a stomach ulcer or gastritis for one year, and have been taking a medicine that coats my stomach so that the lining can heal, but the lining has not healed. Two days ago, I noticed little bumps, like mosquito bites on my legs after I took my medicine. This means that I am now allergic to it. Only our Lord knows the reason behind this allergy.

Affliction takes many forms; its Biblical definition is, “a pressing, pressing together, pressure.” My afflictions tend to come in the form of body infirmities, making me feel as if I am in a pressure cooker with intensifying steam. My body’s sicknesses, weaknesses, and frailty tend to inflict pressure on my soul to turn inward toward self-pity, not toward the Lord. My natural tendency is to lose heart in my weariness, and cry out, “No more, Lord! No more!” But the spirit within also cries out to the living God, “Your grace, Lord, is sufficient for me, ‘For when I am weak, then I am strong'” (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10).

How can so much conflict exist within me? This juxtaposition of the outward man perishing and the inward man renewing daily, leads to groaning and a desire for a new body. Charles Spurgeon’s perspective on our earthly tents and their groaning is this:  The righteous are put into their graves all weary and worn; but as such they will not rise. They go there with the furrowed brow, the hollowed cheek, the wrinkled skin; they shall wake up in beauty and glory. This thought awakens hope and urges me to persevere—the future that awaits me is beyond imagination!

For the time being, though I am unsure of my next step, I have this confidence—God is with me and for me. Though I may not understand why my body changes as it does, He knows. Whatever happens, it is for His glory, as the outcome will become part of my testimony of who He is and how He works in my life; He does work all things together for my good.

Father, my confidence is in You; Your power raised Jesus from the dead and this same power is in me through the Holy Spirit to effect change, whether spiritual or physical, according to Your good, pleasing, and perfect will. Even while writing, You were encouraging me to turn to You, and find my confidence in You. Your goodness and mercy follow me every day of my life bringing me closer to that time when I will dwell in Your house forever. It is wonderful to know that:

The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 
It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory.
It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 
It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
~ 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 ~

There is no one like You, Lord; in Your power and strength I will be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that [my] labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Therefore, I pray this in Jesus’ mighty and precious name, amen.

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