Staying power ∙
Therefore, we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. – 2 Corinthians 4:16
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.
17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; instead, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
The Statue of Liberty is one of the most enduring symbols of what the United States of America represents to hundreds of millions of people down through the decades since her creation in 1886. She is recognized as the universal symbol of freedom and democracy.
She holds a torch above her head with her right hand, and her left hand carries a tablet inscribed with Roman numerals “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” (July 4, 1776). She stands 305 feet tall, including the pedestal. The copper statue itself is 151 feet high. She has stood tall welcoming newcomers to America for over a century.
As it approached its centennial, this icon of freedom was rapidly deteriorating. A French-American restoration committee was established in 1981. Substantial work was needed to ensure the Statue’s preservation into the next century. Thousands of holes pitted the copper surface caused by a century of salt-air exposure.
The most severe problems for Lady Liberty were the disintegration of the torch-bearing arm and the platform at the head level. Support girders in the center of the structure were significantly eroded. The insulating layer between the copper sheet of the statue and the iron bands had deteriorated. The torch was irreversibly damaged and needed to be replaced.
The renovation of the Statue of Liberty required $230 million in private funding. The copper skin was repaired and replaced where necessary. The flame and upper portion of the torch were replaced entirely with an exact replica of the original torch.
On July 4, 1986, America threw a birthday party for the Statue of Liberty. President Ronald Reagan declared, “We are the keepers of the flame of liberty; we hold it high for the world to see.”
She has real staying power.
For children of the King, staying power comes from confident faith. Confident faith is a mindset, an attitude of faith that each child of the King can have. Charles Stanley calls this “great faith.”
Our outer frame can grow old and waste away, but our inward self can be renewed, revitalized, and strengthened daily. What happens within is not controlled by what happens without. From a spiritual point of view, life is climbing up a hill that leads to the permanent and eternal presence of the Father (Barclay).
REFLECT & PRAY
Yard by yard, life is hard! Inch by will inch, life’s a cinch (John Bytheway)!
Father I have finally begun to understand the staying power of ongoing, daily inner spiritual rejuvenation You provide. Thank You for Your wonderful gift.
Why was Paul so confident? His indomitable outlook is driven by logic. If the Lord Jesus Christ conquered the last enemy we face, death itself, why be distressed with subordinate concerns? He truly had nothing to fear from life or death (Wiersbe). Death is swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54) and, along with it, anything of lesser magnitude.
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore, we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner self is renewed daily.
The Greek terms translated do not lose heart, do not despair are ouk egkakoumen. The Greek verb takako has a broad semantic range and can be translated: become discouraged, give up, shrink back, waiver, neglect one’s duty, grow lax, despair, misbehave, give in to evil, lose courage. In colloquial English today, we might say, “throw in the towel and give up.”
Although outwardly, Paul’s body was wearing out, his inner spiritual vitality was revitalized and growing daily. As Paul relentlessly pressed on to fulfill his service to the Father, his physical strength was depleted and worn down. Yet the more Paul spent himself physically for the gospel’s sake, his spiritual resilience grew. Awareness of this proportional paradox changes everything. We can grow weaker and yet stronger simultaneously. He was onto regenerative health way before its time in the 21st century.
A.W. Tozer stated that the invisible world described in the Bible was the only “real world.” The heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 had staying power because they “saw the invisible” (Hebrews 11:10, 13-14, 27).
Paul wrote with eternity in view. Paul explained that while the “outward person” diminishes, the “inward person” undergoes daily spiritual renewal. The Father provides whatever grace, mercy, and strength we need when we need it (Hebrews 4:16). When we learn to live one day at a time, confident of the Father’s care, outward circumstances remain, but our inward stress and care are reduced. Though we weary outwardly, we are continually strengthened inwardly.
Staying power and spiritual vitality are the Father’s gifts for each child of the King. Inward peace and rest are now within our grasp.
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Paul echoes the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount regarding anxiety. Children of the King are not to be anxious, but we are to entrust ourselves into the hands of our loving heavenly Father, whose peace will guard us in Christ Jesus. It is the peace of God. Because God is sovereign and in control, Christians can entrust all their difficulties to him, who rules over all creation and is wise and loving in all his ways (Romans 8:31-39). An attitude of thanksgiving contributes directly to this inward peace.
The Philippians are to fill their minds with things that will inspire worship of God and service to others (ESV, Notes).
Paul echoes the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount regarding anxiety. Children of the King are not to be anxious, but we are to entrust ourselves into the hands of their loving heavenly Father, whose peace will guard them in Christ Jesus. It is the peace of God Almighty. Because God is sovereign and in control, Christians can entrust all their difficulties to him, who rules over all creation and is wise and loving in all his ways (Romans 8:31-39). An attitude of thanksgiving contributes directly to this inward peace.
Paul counsels us to take “everything to God in prayer.” “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything!” Talking to God about everything allows the “peace of God” to guard our hearts and minds (Wiersbe).
© Dr. H 2022